Switzerland: We cannot afford the luxury of giving up — De Mistura on Syrian ceasefire

The UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said that «we don't have and we cannot afford to have the luxury of giving up,» demanding the implementation of a ceasefire across Syria, at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Thursday. The top diplomat stated, «we will continue asking until we are red in the face, blue in the face for both sides [to stop shelling], I say both sides because there has... Еще been on both sides shelling,» adding that the humanitarian convoys must have free access into Eastern Ghouta in particular. Mentioning that he is aware that the political solution must come first, Staffan de Mistura stressed, «when people are dying, the priority is to stop the dying.» On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously voted for a nationwide 30-day ceasefire. The resolution does not extend to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, and other groups the UNSC deems as «terrorist groups.» Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that a ceasefire in Syria does not apply to the fight against terrorism. «Both in Eastern Ghouta and in Idlib there are militant groups which are portrayed by the West as moderate [Ahrar al sham and Jaish al Islam] but that are cooperating with a terrorist group — al-Nusra — designated by the UNSC.»

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