The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Olof Skoog (Sweden):
On 31 January 2017, the members of the Security Council heard the briefing by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, and reiterated their support for the United Nations’ efforts to facilitate the lasting political settlement of the Syrian crisis through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, and reiterated that the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process based on the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012, as endorsed by the Security Council resolution 2118 (2013), the Security Council resolutions 2254 (2015), 2268 (2016) and 2336 (2016), and relevant statements of the International Syria Support Group.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the International Meeting on Syria held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 23-24 January 2017, as anticipated in the Security Council resolution 2336 (2016). They welcomed the talks between the Government of Syria and armed opposition groups, with involvement of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, expressed their appreciation to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan as the host country of the Meeting, and took note of the joint statement by the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey, adopted on the outcome of the talks. The members of the Security Council encouraged the Syrian parties to fully implement the ceasefire established pursuant to the arrangements of 29 December 2016.
The members of the Security Council emphasized that the International Meeting on Syria in Astana constituted a step towards a strengthened ceasefire and hope it will lead to a further reduction of its violations, to progress in reaching a political settlement, and to efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist activities by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), Al-Nusrah Front and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities.
The members of the Security Council noted the continued need to secure safe and unimpeded humanitarian access across Syria, in line with relevant Security Council resolutions.
The members of the Security Council recognized the International Meeting on Syria in Astana as an important step towards the resumption of intra-Syrian negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations.
The members of the Security Council look forward to the resumption of intra-Syrian negotiations, encouraged in this context the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, to reconvene the negotiations as soon as possible in Geneva, and urged the Syrian parties to participate in the negotiations in good faith and without preconditions.