Security Council Supports Russia-Turkey Efforts to End Violence in Syria

The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2336 (2016) on 31 December in support of Russia-Turkey efforts to end violence in Syria. UN Photo / Manuel Elias
The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2336 (2016) on 31 December in support of Russia-Turkey efforts to end violence in Syria. UN Photo / Manuel Elias

The United Nations Security Council on Saturday unanimously adopted a resolution welcoming and supporting the efforts by Russia and Turkey to end violence in Syria and jumpstart a political process for the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

Also in the Russian-drafted resolution, according to the UN, the 15-member Council “takes note of” the documents issued by Russia and Turkey about the agreements the two countries have brokered.

This includes a nationwide ceasefire and a plan to convene political talks in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, between the Syrian Government and opposition groups, in January.

Of late, President of Russia Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad and congratulated him on the completion of the operation to liberate Aleppo.

He stressed that the main task now is to focus on furthering the peace process, in particular by signing an agreement on comprehensive resolution of the Syrian crisis.

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The Council said it looks forward to the meeting in Astana, viewing it as an important part of the Syrian-led political process and “an important step ahead of the resumption of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva on 8 February 2017.”

Further in the text, the Council stressed the importance of fully implementing all relevant Security Council resolutions, particularly 2254 (2015) and 2268 (2016), which endorsed an inclusive and Syrian-led political process based on the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 as the only sustainable solution to the current Syrian crisis, now in its sixth year.

The unanimous action by the Council followed its unsuccessful attempts to act on ending the conflict over the last three months.

On 8 October, the Council failed to adopt two resolutions on ending the bloodshed in Syria’s besieged eastern Aleppo, the one proposed by France and Spain and the other tabled by Russia.

On 5 December, the Council again failed to adopt a resolution calling for a seven-day ceasefire in Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly has voted to establish an independent panel to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for war crimes or crimes against humanity in Syria.

In a resolution adopted by a recorded vote of 105 in favour and 15 against, with 52 abstentions, the Assembly – the universal body comprising all 193 UN Members States – decided to set up a new group.

It will be called the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Those Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in [Syria] since March 2011, under the auspices of the UN.

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Rakesh Raman