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UN hopes Syria peace talks could resume in few weeks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, the United Nations deputy special envoy for Syria (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations says it hopes the governments involved in international efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria can agree on reviving a faltering ceasefire to enable the warring sides to return to peace talks within weeks.

UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy said Thursday that the international body was working “with a view to holding these talks hopefully in the next few weeks.”

He said his chief, Staffan de Mistura, was holding talks with representatives from the warring sides to organize “direct negotiations” between them. The previous rounds of peace negotiations saw the two sides meeting separately with UN mediators.

Ramzy admitted that the situation on the ground was grim but said there was still hope that the ceasefire could be revived.

“Clearly the resumption of the talks would be greatly helped by revitalizing the cessation of hostilities,” the UN official stated.

Ramzy said members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), which is expected to convene its second meeting in a week in New York later on Thursday, would support Russia and the United States in their bid to restore the ceasefire. “That is the objective of the meeting of the ISSG,” he said.

Many say the truce engineered by Washington and Moscow effectively collapsed after reports emerged of a US airstrike on Syrian soldiers in the east of the country and another attack coming from an unknown source targeting a humanitarian convoy in the northwestern city of Aleppo.

Ramzy said, however, that both the United States and Russia were “determined to make the agreement work,” adding that the UN would also continue to stick to the political process to put an end to Syria’s five-year war.

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