UN envoy proposes new international forum for Syria

Orient Net 2019-03-01 07:31:00

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The new United Nations envoy for Syria proposed Thursday (Feb 28) that major powers create a common international forum to move the war-battered country toward peace, AFP reported.

Geir Pedersen, who took up his post in January, made the proposal during his first appearance before the UN Security Council, which remains deeply divided over the way forward in Syria.

"There is a shared sense that battlefield developments might be winding down," Pedersen told the council. "Nevertheless, the conflict is far from over."

"If we are to see how issues can be unblocked and how to help the parties move in a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process, a common forum where key states engage seriously on those issues may be needed," he said.

Pedersen noted that five international armies operate across Syria's land and air space, creating daily risks for escalation and pledged to focus on improving international dialogue and cooperation.

UN diplomacy on Syria has been largely sidelined by the Astana group, while the United States has shifted its attention away from the Syria conflict.

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