17 October 2016

Note to Correspondents: Near verbatim transcript of stakeout by the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, following his meeting with EU Foreign Ministers

I insisted on the fact that the issue of Aleppo is vital and crucial. Any discussion should not  forget the fact that between now and December, if we cannot find a solution, Aleppo will not be there anymore. There are possibilities to apply some formulas that we have in mind  in order to avoid that Aleppo becomes a place like Darayya, or Moadamiyah, or other places. Aleppo has a special symbol. The danger otherwise is that we start talking about everything under the sky and forgetting the crucial priority that we have to give to Aleppo. 
In Lausanne, there was some progress despite of everything and we have to build on it.
In London there were important discussions and I hope that today Europe will show unity, but particularly about one place (Aleppo), which for us in Europe has a symbolic value and for the UN is crucial, with 275,000 people in East Aleppo. West Aleppo has been suffering too frankly. 
The issue about having talks is a priority for us too, but we cannot imagine having regular normal discussions about Syria, when the issue of Aleppo, which is so iconic, is simply left in the sky with bombing and 100,000 children there, and no humanitarian access for over a month. That is why any type of discussion that ignores Aleppo would be something that history will judge us for. I think our European friends realize that. I am never pessimistic, I am very determined, but I am also sometimes worried about the fact that if we miss some type of opportunity to make a change, history will judge us. Mosul should not be confusing the priority of Aleppo, in other words if the world is watching Mosul, Aleppo should not be forgotten.