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Transcript of the stakeout by the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria after his meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov in Moscow

16 February 2017

I have been having today, three meetings, one with Minister Lavrov, one with Minister Shoygu and now with the Deputy Foreign Minister Gatilov. They were focusing on the following points:

The first one was Astana, because we are very keen, all of us, that Astana proceeds. The issue that they are focusing on - and should be focusing on - is the cessation of hostilities. Cessation of hostilities is fundamental in Syria and we need a mechanism. The UN is there to support it with a technical team. We hope that they will develop, quickly, a good agreement on the cessation of hostilities.

Then we discussed also Geneva, of course, and the idea is to have now the discussions starting anytime between 20 and 23rd to allow the delegations, government and opposition, to actually be present in time and to be able to address one agenda item, which is called Security Council resolution 2254. We discussed that as well.

And then there was a discussion about humanitarian aid: there are still major concerns about humanitarian access in spite of the cessation of hostilities and that we need to accelerate that.

And last but not least, the problem of demining in Syria, because there are many mines still left. All these were subjects that were addressed today and they were, in my opinion, useful meetings.

Thank you very much