Only political solution can bring peace to Syria: UN special envoy
Published: Oct 26, 2022 10:05 PM
Geir Pedersen, the UN special envoy for Syria, said on Tuesday that only a political solution could bring peace to the country.

"This political solution is the only path to sustainable peace," Pedersen told the UN Security Council, speaking from the Swiss city of Geneva via video link.

The envoy appealed for the council to support his efforts to move the parties closer to a negotiated political solution to end the 11-year conflict in Syria.

Pedersen reported on his recent "busy period of diplomatic engagement" with key Syrian and international stakeholders, including in connection with the stalled Constitutional Committee meetings in Geneva.

"Sadly, we are a long way from this goal at present, and there are challenging diplomatic and ground realities that make advancing toward a comprehensive solution difficult. But the status quo should not be acceptable and there are ways forward," he said.

So far, the political process has not delivered for the Syrian people, and conflict remains "very active" across the country, said Pedersen.

Listing examples, he said the terrorist group Islamic State remains a serious threat. One of the largest weapons caches since its fall was recently discovered in the northeast, underscoring the insurgents' continued capacity to carry out attacks.

There were also reports of pro-­government airstrikes in northwest Syria, where none had been reported in a long time.

Meanwhile, in the northeast, drone strikes, mutual shelling and confrontations have been reported between the Syrian Democratic Forces on the one hand, and Turkey and armed opposition groups on the other.

The envoy said he is pushing for all stakeholders "to engage on step-for-step confidence building measures" toward advancing Resolution 2254, which was adopted by the Security Council in 2015 and outlines a roadmap for a peace process in Syria.