The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General is encouraged by the agreement today in Astana, Kazakhstan, by guarantor countries Iran, Russian Federation and Turkey to de-escalate violence in key areas in Syria.
It will be crucial to see this agreement actually improve the lives of Syrians. The Secretary-General welcomes the commitments to ceasing the use of all weapons, particularly aerial assets; to rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access; and to creating conditions for the delivery of medical aid and meeting civilians’ basic needs. The commitments made should not affect the rights of Syrians to seek and enjoy asylum.
The United Nations will continue to support de-escalation within the framework of the Security Council resolutions on Syria. The United Nations has also been proactively supporting discussions in Astana regarding detainees and humanitarian demining.
The Secretary-General welcomes the affirmation from the Astana meeting of the fundamental importance of a political solution and the full support expressed there for the United Nations-led intra-Syrian talks process in Geneva within the framework of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).
The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, is in consultation with all concerned as he finalizes the date for the next round of the intra-Syrian talks.