UN / SYRIA

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19-Aug-2020 00:03:17
In his address to the Security Council meeting on Syria, UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen urged “Turkey and Russia to contain all escalatory incidents and dynamics, restore the calm, and continue cooperation.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / SYRIA
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DATELINE: 19 AUGUST 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

19 AUGUST 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2.Multilscreen
3.SOUNDBITE (English) Geir O. Pedersen, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria:
“We urge in particular Turkey and Russia to contain all escalatory incidents and dynamics, restore the calm, and continue cooperation. And we appeal for all relevant actors to ensure that any actions taken to address Security Council-listed terrorist groups are effective, targeted and in line with international humanitarian law, ensuring the protection of civilians.”
4.Multiscreen
5.SOUNDBITE (English) Geir O. Pedersen, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria:
“Some of these developments remind us that many of the tensions and incidents taking place across Syria are international in scope, that Syria’s sovereignty remains compromised, and that the presence of five foreign armies creates a serious risk of threats to international peace and security. This is one reason why the Constitutional Committee’s work can be a door opener, but it cannot in and of itself resolve the conflict. There is a real need for constructive diplomacy among key international players if all aspects of my mandate, as enshrined in resolution 2254, are to be moved forward.”
6.Multiscreen
7.SOUNDBITE (English) Kelly Craft, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“We reiterate our position that there will be no reconstruction, no diplomatic recognition, and no sanctions relief until a political process in line with Resolution 2254 is irreversibly underway. The United States’ policy of maximum diplomatic and economic pressure on the Assad regime and its backers is focused on using every tool in our toolbox to protect civilians from further violence and bring the Assad regime back to the negotiating table to fully implement Resolution 2254.”
8.Multiscreen
9.SOUNDBITE (English) Bashar al Jafari, Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations:
“As we say it over again and again that the solution is political and exclusively Syrian owned and Syrian led without any foreign interreference. A solution owned by Syrian themselves set its parametres in order to protect the country from vultures lurking in it, not according to criteria set by the American administration and Erdogan who attack Syrian and occupy its precious territories.”
10.Multiscreen
11.SOUNDBITE (English) Bashar al Jafari, Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations:
“Syria reiterates that the presence of the Turkish military forces on Syrian territory is an act of aggression, occupation and a gross violation of the principles of international law, the provisions of the United Nations Charter and the principles of the friendly relations and good neighbors between adjacent countries.”
12.Multiscreen

STORYLINE:

In his address to the Security Council meeting on Syria, UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen urged “Turkey and Russia to contain all escalatory incidents and dynamics, restore the calm, and continue cooperation.”

Speaking to Security Council via video link today (19 Aug), Pedersen noted that in the northwest of Syria, the calm brought about by Russian and Turkish efforts continues to largely hold. But the last month has seen reports of sustained mutual rocket attacks, artillery strikes, ground clashes and sporadic airstrikes, including reports of civilians being injured and killed in these incidents. Meanwhile, earlier this week the Turkish Ministry of Defense stated that an IED targeted a joint Russian-Turkish patrol, damaging a Turkish vehicle.

The Special Envoy appealed for “all relevant actors to ensure that any actions taken to address Security Council-listed terrorist groups are effective, targeted and in line with international humanitarian law, ensuring the protection of civilians.”

Pedesen also said, “some of these developments remind us that many of the tensions and incidents taking place across Syria are international in scope, that Syria’s sovereignty remains compromised, and that the presence of five foreign armies creates a serious risk of threats to international peace and security.”

He continued, “this is one reason why the Constitutional Committee’s work can be a door opener, but it cannot in and of itself resolve the conflict. There is a real need for constructive diplomacy among key international players if all aspects of my mandate, as enshrined in resolution 2254, are to be moved forward.”

The Special Envoy noted that preparations are being made to convene 24 August the third session of the small body of the Syrian owned, Syrian led, UN supported Constitutional Committee in Geneva, giving the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also expressed concern for the impact of the pandemic on the Syria people remains acute and is growing. As of 18 August, the total official number of COVID-19 cases in Syria is 2,114, including 1,844 confirmed by the Minister of Health in government held areas, 51 cases in the northwest of Syria, including the first cases in two IDP camps, and 219 in the northeast.

Also addressing the Council, US Ambassador Kelly Craft reiterated the US’s position that “there will be no reconstruction, no diplomatic recognition, and no sanctions relief until a political process in line with Resolution 2254 is irreversibly underway.”

She said, “the United States’ policy of maximum diplomatic and economic pressure on the Assad regime and its backers is focused on using every tool in our toolbox to protect civilians from further violence and bring the Assad regime back to the negotiating table to fully implement Resolution 2254.”

Syrian Ambassador Bashar al Jafari also briefed the Council, and reiterated “as we say it over again and again that the solution is political and exclusively Syrian owned and Syrian led without any foreign interference”

Jafari continued, “a solution owned by Syrian themselves set its parametres in order to protect the country from vultures lurking in it, not according to criteria set by the American administration and Erdogan who attack Syrian and occupy its precious territories.”

On Turkey, the Syrian Ambassador said, “Syria reiterates that the presence of the Turkish military forces on Syrian territory is an act of aggression, occupation and a gross violation of the principles of international law, the provisions of the United Nations Charter and the principles of the friendly relations and good neighbors between adjacent countries.”
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