Syrian authorities agree to work with UN on "freeze" zones

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Destruction in the ancient city of Aleppo, Syria. Photo: UNESCO

Syrian authorities have agreed to work with the United Nations to halt fighting in certain areas of the country, in order to promote a gradual return to peace.

The proposal by the Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura to, in his words, "freeze" these areas was put to the Security Council last month.

The proposed “freezes” are intended first and foremost to lead to a de-escalation of violence, starting with specific areas, and allow for a return to some normalcy for the civilians caught in the conflict.

Ongoing diplomatic efforts would then also build on an expected incremental halting of military activities and lead to a national political process.

The Special Envoy, who is currently visiting the country, said the plan could begin in the city of Aleppo.

Mr de Mistura has been holding discussions with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Syrian government officials on his proposal.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations.

Duration: 57″

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