UN envoy welcomes announcement of nationwide ceasefire in Syria

Geneva, Dec 30 (IANS) UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura welcomed the announcement of a nationwide ceasefire between the Syrian government and the country’s armed opposition groups, which is to come into effect on Friday.

The special envoy on Thursday, through a statement issued by his spokesperson, noted that a comprehensive cessation of hostilities remains a “cornerstone” for the peace process in the war-torn country, Xinhua news reports.

He wished that the implementation of the agreement will save civilian lives, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance across Syria, and pave the way for productive talks in the Kazakhstan’s capital city Astana.

“These developments should contribute to inclusive and productive intra-Syrian negotiations to be convened under UN auspices on February 8 of 2017,” Mistura added.

The Syrian government and the core groups of the so-called moderate opposition reached a ceasefire agreement and expressed their readiness to start intra-Syrian talks on Thursday. The Syrian army then declared that a nationwide cessation of hostilities will go into effect as of midnight Friday.