The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura has met officials in Turkey as part of regional consultations related to bringing an end to the nearly four-year Syria crisis.
In Istanbul, Mr. de Mistura met yesterday with a delegation of the Syria National Coalition, headed by Hadi Al-Bahra, the president of the Coalition. According to a UN spokesperson, the two exchanged views on his proposal to “freeze” the conflict in Aleppo and on ways to make that plan operational on the ground.
The Special Envoy’s plan, first presented to the UN Security Council on 30 October, would initially seek to halt the fighting and create an environment whereby humanitarian aid could reach the beleaguered population in Aleppo. It would also provide visible proof that the on-the-ground narrative can be shifted from a military one to a political one.
Mr. de Mistura met separately with the Under Secretary at the Turkish Foreign Ministry and today he travels to Gaziantep, in southern Turkey, to discuss his plan with key rebel groups from Aleppo.
The conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011, has led to well over 150,000 deaths, and more than 680,000 people have been injured. At least 10.8 million people are in need of assistance inside Syria, including at least 6.5 million who are internally displaced.
The violence has also spawned a refugee crisis flooding neighbouring countries with some 2.5 million people.