The U.N. Chief Military Observer in Syria, Major-General Robert Mood, has said the Syrian government had indicated a clear commitment to a peace plan aimed at ending the violence there, and reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to helping the people of the country.
"I received from the Government a very clear commitment to the six-point plan," Gen. Mood, who also heads the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), told reporters on Wednesday. Earlier, he met with a Syrian government working group, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad, at which he briefed on issues discussed at a recent meeting of the Action Group on Syria.
The UNSMIS chief said "the commitment of the United Nations to the welfare of the Syrian people remains strong and it will continue."
Put forward earlier this year by the U.N.-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, the six-point peace plan calls for an end to violence that has gripped the Middle East country, access for humanitarian agencies to provide relief to those in need, release of detainees, the start of inclusive political dialogue, and unrestricted access to the country for the international media.
According to the U.N., more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria and tens of thousands displaced since a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began 16 months ago.
In his remarks to the journalists, Gen. Mood also spoke about the first meeting of the Action Group on Syria, this past weekend in Geneva, which he had attended. The U.N.-backed Action Group forged an agreement outlining the steps for a peaceful transition in Syria, while strongly condemning the continued and escalating violence that has taken place there.
He said "there is this feeling that it's too much talk in nice hotels, in nice meetings, and too little action to move forward and stop the violence."
The Security Council established UNSMIS - for three months and with up to 300 unarmed military observers - in April to monitor cessation of violence in Syria, as well as monitor and support the full implementation of the six-point peace plan. Gen. Mood suspended the monitoring activities of the U.N. observers mid-June, following an escalation of violence.
He said the U.N. mission will resume its mandated tasks when "the conditions on the ground allow."
UNSMIS's three months-mandate ends on July 20, before which the Council is expected to meet to decide on its future.
Gen. Mood said he was "still very much convinced that the commitment of the U.N. to the welfare of the Syrian people, to the future of the Syrian people will be strong also after the 20th of July, but exactly what will be the outcome of the Security Council's deliberations and discussions remains to be seen in the coming days and the coming weeks."
by RTT Staff Writer
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