UN Chief Welcomes Cessation of Hostilities Pact in Syria

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

New York, 14 Jumadal Awwal 1437/23 February 2016 (MINA) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed as “signal of hope” the agreement announced Monday by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) Ceasefire Taskforce, on the terms of a nationwide cessation of hostilities in Syria.

The agreement is scheduled to come into effect on Saturday, February 27, Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) reported, quoting KUNA.

Noting the “lengthy and detailed discussions” that preceded the announcement, Ban, in a statement attributable to his spokesperson said he believes the agreement, if respected, would constitute a significant step forward in the implementation of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).

“It demonstrates the commitment of the ISSG to exert influence on the warring parties to bring about an immediate reduction in violence as a first step towards a more durable ceasefire,” the statement added.

Ban said the agreement further contributes to creating an environment conducive for the resumption of political negotiations. Above all, it is a long-awaited signal of hope to the Syrian people that after five years of conflict there may be an end to their suffering in sight, he added.

The UN official strongly urged the parties to abide by the terms of the agreement, and stressed that much work now lies ahead to ensure its implementation, and the international community, the ISSG and the Syrian parties must remain steadfast in their resolve.

The statement affirmed that the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria stands ready to support implementation of the agreement, both on the ground in Damascus and in Geneva.

The world’s top body further counts on the cooperation of ISSG members as all stakeholders jointly set the implementation mechanism in motion. (R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)