EU backs de Mistura’s Syrian peace plan

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A man inspects a destroyed Syrian Army tank in Azaz, some 47 kilometers north of Aleppo. File photo

ARA News

Istanbul, Turkey – On Monday, the EU foreign ministers in a joint statement in the Belgian capital, Brussels, approved the initiative of the U.N. peace envoy to Syria, Steffan de Mistura.

The statement said that the EU countries believed that de Mistura’s initiative to freeze fighting in the city of Aleppo, in northern Syria, gives a glimmer of hope for a political solution to the three and a half year old civil war in Syria.

According to the statement, the European Union will support the efforts of de Mistura in order to defuse the violence strategically “as a basis for a sustainable political process on a large scale”.

“The Union countries will seek to support de Mistura’s efforts to help rebuild the local administration and restore basic services in areas where fighting has subsided,” the statement added.

The military operations carried out by the Syrian regime forces in the areas controlled by the opposition however, threaten de Mistura’s initiative altogether, according to the EU ministers.

In the meantime, the European Commission and Italy agreed to establish a regional trust fund for Syria with an initial funding worth 23 million euros, in order to “mobilize humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees”.

Noteworthy, the international special envoy to Syria, Steffan de Mistura, had conducted a quick tour in the Middle East where he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus and representatives of the Syrian armed opposition in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, within the framework of the convergence of views about this internationally supported initiative.

The initiative aims to freeze the fighting in the city of Aleppo in principle, and then transfer the model of Aleppo to other Syrian conflict zones.

 

Reporting by: Mohammed Nasser

Source: ARA News

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