3 May 2017
I would like to address the issue that you are familiar with: the concerns that have been coming out based on some events that have taken place in Syria.
I would like to say that the United Nations is very concerned at the reports of escalation in Syria, including, allegedly, reports of air strikes, particularly in this delicate moment in the Astana discussions where actually proposals to de-escalate the conflict are under very serious discussion.
So we are actively engaged. And when I say we, I mean all of us present here in Astana and certainly the UN delegation, is supporting the continuation of the talks at any cost because what is at stake is very important.
We are calling, therefore, for the immediate investigation and for immediate institution of measures to ensure that now no strikes are taking place and are halted.
The Special Envoy – myself – and the UN are urging all in Astana to press ahead tomorrow with de-escalation discussions and confidence-building measures. It is too important as an occasion to be missed. We hope that that will be in a way addressing some concerns that are linked to what we have heard on reports which have happened today in Syria.
Q: Are you confident that the opposition will come back tomorrow?
A: I will wait to see what they will say. I hope they will because what is important is also to look at the possibility of an outcome on de-escalation. Every time we have been having a meeting or a discussion about cessation of hostilities or de-escalation in this case, there have been some incidents produced by one side or the other. The secret is to try to make sure that those incidents stop but also do not kill the opportunity for good news related to that.
Q: (inaudible – follow-up on position of the opposition)
A: Let’s see what will be done and said between today and tomorrow. Thank you.