Syria ceasefire "more likely than before"

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Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

A nationwide ceasefire in Syria is "more likely than before" following recent meetings by the international community, the UN envoy for the country told journalists in New York on Thursday.

Staffan de Mistura was speaking after an informal briefing he gave to UN Member States on the two recent conferences aimed at bringing an end to nearly five years of conflict in Syria.

The meetings were held in Vienna, Austria, and brought together foreign ministers and representatives from several nations, regional groups and the UN.

Dianne Penn reports.

Mr de Mistura reminded reporters of what he called the "deliverables" from the two rounds of talks.

For Vienna I, it was a future roadmap for a political process in Syria, while Vienna II concerned a nationwide ceasefire in parallel with a political dialogue that would take place in Geneva, Switzerland.

He was asked about the prospects for the ceasefire.

"We are talking about a large ceasefire. Now, why is this now more likely—I'm not saying guaranteed, but more likely than before? Well, first of all, because there are indications that those countries who are inside the Vienna meeting room, and look at them who they are, and those who are therefore involved or who have the capacity of influencing those who are fighting, have an interest in seeing a ceasefire taking place."

Mr De Mistura added that territory under the control of the terrorist group ISIL, or Daesh, would "naturally" not be part of any potential ceasefire.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'07"

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