Security Council endorses Syria ceasefire deal

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The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2336 (2016) on 31 December in support of Russia-Turkey efforts to end violence in Syria. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

A ceasefire deal brokered by Russia and Turkey has been unanimously endorsed by members of the UN Security Council on Saturday.

The nationwide truce between the Syrian government and rebel groups went into effect on 30 December at midnight.

The UN resolution also calls for "rapid, safe and unhindered" access to deliver humanitarian aid throughout the country.

Jocelyne Sambira has the details.

"Cautious but hopeful" is how the US Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN described her country's position regarding the UN resolution tabled by Russia and Turkey.

The breakthrough in the Syrian conflict comes after two days of closed-door meetings in the Security Council

Here's Ambassador Michele Sison.

"We have voted in favour of this resolution because it strikes the right balance: cautious optimism and support predicated on hope, but tempered by a realistic need to see how this arrangement is implemented before casting the full weight of the Security Council behind it. We would highlight two key points: Our hope that a ceasefire will truly hold and will not serve as a justification for further unacceptable offenses."

The ceasefire accord is expected to give impetus to fresh intra-Syrian peace talks.

Jabhat al Nusra and ISIL militant groups are not covered by the agreement.

Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin urged Council members to refrain from casting doubt on the agreements that were achieved and to keep in mind the interests of the Syrian people.

The civil war in Syria started over five years ago and it’s estimated around half a million people have been killed.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’18”



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