New York – Peace “is a moral and political imperative both for the Syrian people and for the world,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday, urging the conflict parties to fully back a fragile ceasefire and ensure aid access, as well as to support UN-mediated talks, which are expected to resume later this month.
“For six years now, the Syria people have been victims of one of the worst conflicts of our time,” Guterres said in a statement on the crisis in Syria.
The UN news center said Guterres issued two urgent appeals to all the parties, firstly, to make the most of the 30 December 2016 ceasefire established by the guarantors of the Astana meetings – Russia, Turkey and Iran – enhance it further, and ensure that relief aid can reach all those in need in Syria without any obstacles and impediments.
The UN chief also urged all those with influence on the conflict parties to overcome their differences and work together to put an end to the conflict, namely by contributing to the success of the intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva on the basis of the Geneva Communiqué and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2254 (2015), which endorsed a roadmap for a peace process in Syria.
Meanwhile, a report by Reuters said that six years since the start of the uprising against the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, the latter was winning on the battlefield but Syria’s civil war was far from over.
Reuters said that many observers were expecting at best that a ceasefire would be observed much of the time over much of a territory, which would be partitioned between rival forces.
During five years of UN-brokered negotiations between the regime and the opposition, the controversial point has been whether Assad would go. Now, the starting point is that he will stay, according to analysts quoted by the agency.
“We have to be realistic – he’s not leaving”, Reuters quoted Robert Ford, a former American ambassador to Damascus, as saying.
“After Aleppo, there is no chance” of dislodging Assad, Ford added. “That’s the result of the military victory they won,” he noted.