UN Resolution Valuable for Syria Stability

UN Resolution Valuable for Syria Stability UN Resolution Valuable for Syria Stability

A senior diplomat said the recent UN Security Council resolution in support of the nationwide ceasefire in Syria can greatly help step up the anti-terror drive and political efforts to take the steam out of nearly six years of conflict in Syria.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the parliament speaker's special advisor on international affairs, made the statement in Tehran on Sunday, IRNA reported.

The conflict pits the Syrian Army against foreign-backed militants wishing to bring down the government and tops the list of biggest calamities in the 21st century by leaving hundreds of thousands dead by triggering a major refugee crisis.

UNSC Resolution 2236, co-authored by Turkey and Russia, was unanimously approved by 15 members of the council on Saturday.

The resolution voiced support for "the efforts of Russia and Turkey aimed at stopping violence in Syria and launching a political process", which it described as the only way to a sustainable settlement of the conflict.

UNSC members said they consider talks planned between the Syrian government and opposition groups in Kazakhstan's capital Astana "an important step" before the resumption intra-Syrian talks under the UN auspices in Geneva, Switzerland, on February 8.

Astana talks are to be held under the aegis of Turkey, Russia and Iran, if a tentative ceasefire that took effect 00:00 local time on Friday holds for one month.

Talks on the enforced ceasefire picked up momentum when Russia, Iran and Turkey said after a December 20 meeting of their foreign ministers that they were ready to guarantee a peace deal and adopted a declaration setting out principles that any agreement on Syria should adhere to.

The truce covers seven armed groups that control most of central and northern Syria and possess the bulk of the opposition forces' manpower with more than 60,000 fighters.

The ceasefire came after the Syrian Army, which was engaged in a months-long operation to retake eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, managed to encircle militants in a small pocket of the second biggest Syrian city last month.

Late December, a Russia-Turkey brokered deal for evacuation of gunmen to other militant-held areas handed the Syrian government a great triumph.

  Concerns Over US, Saudi Behavior

Amir-Abdollahian praised the efforts of Russia and Turkey in advancing the resolution, but said more needs to be done to ensure the implementation of the document, as there may be no strong will in the international community to enforce it.

The advisor said a main factor contributing to uncertainties regarding the future of the resolution is the behavior of the US, which has a long history of reneging on its international obligations and is currently trying to play the card of terrorism.

"Although the US did not veto the resolution, they have never taken a calculated and well-measured stance against terrorism in line with the interests of the region, and they mainly consider their own interests," he said.

"One should add  the unconstructive behavior of Saudi Arabia and some of its friends in the region to the sources of concern."

The US and the Saudi kingdom, along with Qatar and Turkey, are the main arms suppliers to militants, while Tehran provides Syrian troops with advisory services and Russia lends its airpower to the anti-terror push in Syria.

Pointing to Astana talks, Amir-Abdollahian said the liberation of Aleppo and the nationwide cessation of hostilities have raised hopes for the success of negotiations.

"However, there are still reasons for pessimism about the return of stability and calm to Syria and important players of the conflict should provide the necessary guarantees," he said.


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