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ASHA: A UN official warns of a possible escalation in Syria and calls for support for the political process

The Special Envoy for Syria warned of signs of a possible escalation in the country and the erosion of the current ceasefire arrangements, and called on the Security Council to unite in order to make progress on the political track to implement Security Council Resolution 2254, which calls for a cease-fire across Syria.

According to the United Nations Information Center, Geir Pedersen, the Special Envoy for Syria, said - in a briefing he gave in person for the first time in 18 months before the Security Council -: "I do not need to remind you that there are five foreign armies scrambling inside Syria."

Pedersen expressed the dangers of dismantling the current arrangements, and slowly eroding them "because of the almost continuous pace of limited violence across the front lines." And he called for a nationwide ceasefire to be a common cause to avoid risks, preserve the safety of civilians, and serve as the first step towards The eventual reunification of Syria and the restoration of its sovereignty.

The UN official stated that alarming signs of escalation appeared this month, represented in the attack on Al-Shifa Hospital in Afrin, which he strongly condemned. Civilians were killed and injured, including medical staff, and parts of the hospital were destroyed.


Southern Idlib also witnessed another escalation, with mutual shelling and airstrikes inside Idlib, and reports of civilian deaths and massive displacement.. This month saw more airstrikes attributed to Israel, more unrest in the southwest, and more attacks by terrorist groups listed in Security Council list, including operations claimed by ISIS.


Pedersen called for confidence to be built through actions, not words, and said, "The major players must be ready to sit at the table with the necessary good intentions, and have something to offer," pointing to the need for a new constructive international dialogue on Syria, to discuss concrete steps that should be taken. be reciprocal, realistically and precisely defined, run parallel and verifiable.


Pedersen pointed to the possibility of finding potential common ground between the main players, to enhance internal and regional stability and build confidence and unity required in the field of humanitarian response.


He also called for "the same unity of the political process," and said, "I think we are all disappointed that we are not making real progress on the political track to implement resolution 2254, including constitutional reform and elections that are conducted under the supervision of the United Nations."


He explained that the mistrust gap between the two parties and the complex situation on the ground make early progress towards a comprehensive settlement unlikely... "But we must find ways of unity around pushing the elements of the solution forward, so that the situation is in a timely manner suitable for a more comprehensive solution to the conflict." .


Turning to the humanitarian situation in Syria, Pedersen stressed that the humanitarian situation is a priority, as civilians across the country desperately need life-saving assistance and help in building resilience. "It is absolutely essential to maintain and expand access, including through cross-border operations," he said. Borders and across lines,” noting that a large-scale, cross-border response for an additional 12 months is necessary to save lives. "And your unity here will be crucial."


Pedersen stressed his regular contact with many members of the Security Council and key countries in the region.. The Special Envoy will go to Rome to hold consultations with the foreign ministers participating in the ministerial meeting on Syria organized by Italy and the United States.. He said, "I hope to be in Moscow soon, And to consult Turkey and Iran as well, there will be a meeting in the form of the Astana meeting in the city of Nur-Sultan in early July.”