UPDATE : REPORTED AIRSTRIKES IN SYRIA SHOULD NOT DERAIL CHANCE FOR “GOOD NEWS” AT ASTANA TALKS, SAYS UN ENVOY

Astana, – A senior United Nations mediator today urged the continuation of talks on a Syrian ceasefire being held in the Kazak capital of Astana.

The current round of what has become known as the ‘Astana talks’ between the Syrian conflict parties and led by Russia, Turkey and Iran, kicked off today, but, according to media reports, the Syrian opposition side walked out of the meeting, citing a new barrage of airstrikes in the area they hold.

“The United Nations is very concerned at the reports of escalation in Syria, including, allegedly, reports of air strikes, particularly in this delicate moment in the Astana discussions where actually proposals to de-escalate the conflict are under very serious discussion,” the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, told reporters, following the suspension of the meeting.

“We are calling, therefore, for the immediate investigation and for immediate institution of measures to ensure that now no strikes are taking place and are halted,” Mr. de Mistura said, urging all participants in Astana to “press ahead tomorrow with de-escalation discussions and confidence-building measures.”(QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency

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