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Nine Security Council nations urge Guterres to take greater cease-fire in Syria

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Nine of the 15 countries in the UN Security Council on Wednesday asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to take further steps to reach a ceasefire in the Idlib governorate in Syria, according to diplomats.

This request was made during an hour-long meeting with Guterres. The latter said that he was already making great efforts behind the scenes without announcing this, according to the same sources.

The countries participating in the meeting are Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, Tunisia, Niger and the Dominican Republic.

Diplomats announced that these countries asked the Secretary-General to “contribute more” as his special envoy to Syria, besides Pedersen, who “has a narrow vision of his mandate” and is able to take greater steps to reach a ceasefire and respect for international humanitarian law.

In response to a question to France Press, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed the meeting with the nine countries, stressing that the Secretary-General “works without everything” with the parties to the conflict. “There are two clear goals: to stop the massacres and to deliver humanitarian aid,” the spokesman said.

At the beginning of the week, Guterres met in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who on Tuesday refused to call for a cease-fire in the Idlib region, considering it “a surrender to the terrorists.”

Damascus, backed by Russian aviation, has been trying since early December to regain control of this region, where 900,000 people have fled. Syria, which has been mired in war since 2011, has not witnessed such a large displacement in a short period.

After 14 vetos by Russia, backed by China, the Security Council remains divided and paralyzed in the Syria file. “Everyone is disappointed,” said a diplomat, who asked not to be identified, to what happened in Syria, justifying the positions of Guterres and the countries that requested to meet with him.

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