UN voices optimism for a ceasefire in Syria

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Syrian residents whose homes were destroyed by shelling

The United Nations is appealing to the Syrian government and opposition groups to fully observe the ceasefire proposed by the joint UN-Arab League envoy for Syria.

UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, who spoke to reporters in Geneva on Thursday, says the cessation of hostilities would be a positive indicator that both sides are committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Mr. Eliasson says the search for a political solution to the crisis would only be feasible if the ceasefire takes hold.

He says the threat of the conflict engulfing the entire region is already evident and appeals to countries with influence on the warring parties to put pressure on them to end the violence and engage in dialogue.

"Well we have no guarantees that a possible ceasefire will hold. We hope that they both realize the importance of a pause in the fighting and by this they can prove that they desire a solution, a peaceful solution to the benefit of the Syrian people. But the most important thing is that it could possibly create an environment in which a political process is possible. If the Security Council is not unified, it translates itself to weakness for the Secretary General and his representatives. If we have strong resolutions supported by the member states we have muscle power so to speak to translate that to action on the ground."

Duration 39"

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January 2018
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