Syria: UN special envoy arrives in Damascus for talks with Government officials

15 June 2015

The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura has begun a visit to the capital, Damascus, following an invitation by the Government to visit the country, according to a spokesman for the Organization.

“Mr. de Mistura looks forward to meeting with senior Syrian officials with the aim of giving them the opportunity to express their own views on the Geneva Consultations, which started in early May and will continue into July,” UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told the daily briefing at Headquarters in New York.

In this regard, he continued, Mr. de Mistura reiterated his intention of submitting a report to the Secretary-General regarding the operationalization of the Geneva Communiqué in all its aspects.

“During his visit, Mr. de Mistura intends to raise with the Syrian Government the issue of protection of civilians, underlining once again the unacceptable use of barrel bombs and the incontestable duty of any government, in all circumstances, to protect its civilians, under international humanitarian law,” explained Mr. Dujarric.

He said that the Special Envoy also plans to discuss the current humanitarian situation in Syria and ways to increase access to besieged and conflict-affected communities. In his discussions, Mr. de Mistura plans to convey once again to Syrian officials his deep conviction that no solution to the Syrian conflict can be imposed by force and that an inclusive and Syrian-led and owned political settlement is urgently needed.

During Syria’s tragic five-year arc of conflict, 220,000 people have been killed, more than one million have been injured, 7.6 million have been displaced and four million people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, according to UN estimates. In recent weeks, well over 100,000 people have been displaced in a new wave of fighting in Idlib while some 14 million people are now displaced due to the interlinked crises in Syria and Iraq.

 

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