UN Security Council fails to agree on joint Syria declaration

UN Security Council fails to agree on joint Syria declaration

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United Nations: The United Nations Security Council failed to reach a consensus on a joint statement on war-torn Syria on Tuesday. During one-day negotiations, the organization’s special envoy to the country called for the start of a deadlocked peace process.

The diplomat said that Syria’s main ally, Russia, has repeatedly blocked negotiations on the matter, although Moscow did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.

The Syrian conflict broke out after the brutal suppression of anti-government protests in 2011. The conflict has caused more than 380,000 lives and millions of people have been displaced.

Endless rounds of UN-backed peace talks have failed to stem the bloodshed and in recent years have been largely overtaken by parallel negotiations led by Russia and Turkey.

“The current divisions in the international community need to be bridged,” Geir Pedersen, the UN special envoy for Syria, told journalists earlier in the day following a Security Council videoconference.

Pedersen said that without “constructive international diplomacy” on Syria, it was unlikely that “any track — constitutional track or any other — will really move forward.”

The council s monthly meeting on Syria is usually public, but officials kept the session private after a meeting of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva last month ended with no progress.

The committee was created in 2019 to modify Syria s 2012 constitution, which directs the organization of elections under UN supervision.

“Session five of the Constitutional Committee was a missed opportunity and disappointment,” Pedersen said of the January meeting, which included the Syrian regime, the opposition and civil society.

“There is a lack of trust and confidence and a lack of will to compromise — and a lack of political space to compromise too,” he added.

Diplomats told AFP that Western powers were unanimous during the Tuesday s meeting in decrying the “failure” of the political process.

A representative accused the Constitutional Council of not achieving any success, and accused the Syrian regime of “delaying tactics.”

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