UN / SYRIA

14-Feb-2018 00:03:51
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said the country was witnessing “as violent and worrying and dangerous a moment as any” he has seen in his four-year tenure. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SYRIA
TRT: 03:51
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 FEBRUARY 2018, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

14 FEBRUARY 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“I have been now four years Special Envoy. This is as violent and worrying and dangerous a moment as any that I have seen in my time of tenure so far.”
4. Med shot, Syrian ambassador
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“Civilians have been killed on a horrific scale. Reports suggest more than 1,000 civilians in the first week of February alone, and strikes have continued to hit hospitals, schools and markets. There have been several allegations of chlorine attacks, in Ghouta and Idlib, and also now recently in Afrin. While we cannot independently verify these allegations but, if confirmed, it is outrageous and should be having no impunity.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“When we see the Assad regime starving civilians in eastern Ghouta or pummelling schools and hospitals in Idlib, we see advisers from Iran and Hezbollah helping direct those atrocities. This support for the Assad regime is not new, of course. But the drone flight this week is a wake-up call for all of us. Iran and Hezbollah are making plans to stay in Syria.”
8. Wide shot, Russian ambassador
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“Ultimately, we must recognize that the Assad regime does not want peace unless it’s peace on their terms – a peace in which every person in Syria who opposes the regime is murdered, tortured, starved, imprisoned, or forced to flee the country.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“Some influential states in the Council - and I’m referring here to the United States, the United Kingdom, and France – have dedicated all their abilities to take revenge from my country Syria, in its land, people, and political stance, and to settle old accounts with it. These countries manipulated the principles of the [UN] Charter and violated its provisions to advance their own interventionalist agendas at the cost of Syrian blood.”
12. Med shot, de Mistura
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“The participants in the conference did not give the Special Envoy any guardianship or mandate or authority in forming the constitutional committee. We in Syria are committed to what the participants of the conference voted on and are not concerned with any committee formed by any foreign entity. In addition, we will not deal with the results of its outcome or any other issue concerning it. The constitutional matter is a matter of sovereignty, sovereignty which applies to all of you [as well].”
14. Wide shot, de Mistura at stakeout
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“I’m a diplomat and I’m a facilitator. My job is not to call out anyone. It is actually to make sure that we move forward. And as I just said, we are working on the basis of a very clear Security Council mandate and basically, on a very clear message I got from the Security Council today. And what is said in the final declaration is that we have a job to do, in the respect of the Syrian-led job to do in writing a new constitution. But we will implement what we have been asked to do.”
16. Pan right, de Mistura leaving stakeout
STORYLINE
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said today (14 Feb) the country was witnessing “as violent and worrying and dangerous a moment as any” he has seen in his four-year tenure.

Briefing the Security Council on the latest developments in the Syrian file, de Mistura urged the Council to focus on de-escalating the violence in the country and pushing the political path forward towards the full implementation of resolution 2254. He said civilians have been killed “on a horrific scale” with reports that more than 1,000 civilians perished in the in the first week of February alone, as strikes continuing to hit hospitals, schools and markets. He added, “There have been several allegations of chlorine attacks, in Ghouta and Idlib, and also now recently in Afrin; while we cannot independently verify these allegations but, if confirmed, it is outrageous and should be having no impunity.”

The Special Envoy called for urgent action to ensure immediate and unfettered humanitarian access to besieged and hard-to-reach areas. He recognized news that an inter-agency convoy entered an area in eastern Ghouta to deliver food, health, and nutrition items, but said this was far from enough to meet the need of the 390,000 people who remain in besieged areas. The convoy was the first to enter a besieged area since November 2017.

De Mistura told the Security Council that since the Vienna and Sochi meetings, he has been consulting on the establishment of a constitutional committee for Syria. He said his team was in touch with a wide array of Syrians and he continued to pursue the convening of Syria talks dealing with all four baskets of issues concerning Syria.

United States ambassador Nikki Haley said the Syrian Government has become a front for Iran, Hezbollah, and their allies to advance the irresponsible and dangerous agenda for the Middle East.

SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“When we see the Assad regime starving civilians in eastern Ghouta or pummeling schools and hospitals in Idlib, we see advisers from Iran and Hezbollah helping direct those atrocities. This support for the Assad regime is not new, of course. But the drone flight this week is a wake-up call for all of us. Iran and Hezbollah are making plans to stay in Syria.”

Haley said even as peace is being discussed at the UN, fighting is intensifying in Syria. She questioned how a peace process would work while the Government continues to launch attacks against the Syrian people, and Iran and Hezbollah are entrenching themselves inside the country.

SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“Ultimately, we must recognize that the Assad regime does not want peace unless it’s peace on their terms – a peace in which every person in Syria who opposes the regime is murdered, tortured, starved, imprisoned, or forced to flee the country.”

The US ambassador called on Russia to push the Syrian Government to commit to seeking peace in Syria adding that the road to peace will come when all parties stop provoking each other and choose a responsible path based on resolution 2254.

Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said his country was being subjected to an unprecedented terrorist world war for seven years while some remained silent and other became complicit.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“Some influential states in the Council - and I’m referring here to the United States, the United Kingdom, and France – have dedicated all their abilities to take revenge from my country, Syria, in its land, people, and political stance, and to settle old accounts with it. These countries manipulated the principles of the [UN] Charter and violated its provisions to advance their own interventionalist agendas at the cost of Syrian blood.”

Ja’afari said these countries manipulated the principals of the UN Charter to send foreign terrorist fighters from 100 UN members to Syria and support terrorist groups, support he said which has cost them some 137 billion USD. He stressed that recent attacks by the US-led coalition on pro-Government forces fighting ISIL in the suburbs of Dier ez Zor is proof of the role Washington is playing in support of the group.

Turning to the Sochi meetings, the Syrian ambassador said the outcome document, which was voted on by the participants, is a cornerstone of the political process and a solid base for any future dialogue. Ja’afari noted that the outcome document included nationalistic principals including maintaining Syria’s sovereignty and unity, the exclusive right of the Syrian people to choose their political and economic systems, and maintaining its military and armed forces. He added that the participants agreed to form a committee to discuss the constitution, and therefore the formation of this committee must be based on this agreement.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“The participants in the conference did not give the Special Envoy any guardianship or mandate or authority in forming the constitutional committee. We in Syria are committed to what the participants of the conference voted on and are not concerned with any committee formed by any foreign entity. In addition, we will not deal with the results of its outcome or any other issue concerning it. The constitutional issue is a matter of sovereignty, sovereignty which applies to all of you [as well].”

Speaking to reporters following closed consultations with the Council, Special Envoy de Mistura said members of Council were supportive of the UN’s role in implementing resolution 2254 and for facilitating the establishment of the constitutional committee in Geneva. He said there was no country in the world where the constitution was written by foreigners, but in view of the major differences which exist among the Syrians, it is not a surprise that resolution 2254 indicates the need for the UN to facilitate the process.

Asked by a reporter if it was time to call out the Syrian Government for not engaging in de Mistura’s plans to bring peace to the country, de Mistura said, “I’m a diplomat and I’m a facilitator; my job is not to call out anyone; it is actually to make sure that we move forward.” He said the UN was working “on the basis of a very clear Security Council mandate.” He stressed that the writing of the constitution must be Syrian-led, but the UN would “implement what we have been asked to do.”
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