Syria – Conflicts – UN – Talks

UN Hopes for Progress in ‘Days’ towards New Syria Talks

UN Hopes for Progress in ‘Days’ towards New Syria Talks
Thu Aug 4, 2016 17:19:16

The UN voiced hope Thursday that developments “in the next few days” could pave the way for Syria peace talks to resume by the end of this month.

The United Nations deputy envoy for Syria, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, said that despite brutal fighting in the battle for Aleppo and elsewhere, the UN remained “committed” to re-launching talks in late August.

Crucial to that plan are ongoing negotiations between Syrian government ally Russia and the United States, which backs some terrorist groups.

“We have not given up hope. We cannot give up hope,” of finding a diplomatic solution to the devastating five-year conflict, Ramzy told reporters in Geneva.

“Bear with us. I think in the next few days there might be some movement,” towards holding “credible talks,” he added.

He did not specify what a potential breakthrough might include, but the UN has in recent days pinned hopes on efforts from Moscow and Washington to restore a ceasefire in Syria.

The head of a UN-backed humanitarian taskforce for Syria, Jan Egeland, raised further alarm about the escalating crisis in Aleppo.

Egeland said the UN and Red Cross were ready to send urgently needed supplies to the city but that convoys could not deploy without a pause in the fighting.

Syrian government forces backed by Russian air strikes have made advances against terrorist held eastern areas in the key city, which was once Syria’s commercial hub.

Eastern districts came under government siege on July 17, sparking concerns for the estimated 250,000 people still living there.

Last week Russia announced the opening of “humanitarian corridors” to allow residents and surrendering fighters to flee for government-held territory.

The UN has offered tacit backing for Russia’s humanitarian passageways but has said it wants to control them.

Syria’s conflict has killed more than 280,000 people and drawn in world powers on both sides since it erupted in March 2011.

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