Posted 2016-10-14

The De Mistura Initiative for Aleppo and Russia strategy to back it up with a UN Security Council Resolution and regional forces 


.@UN Syria Envoy pleads to rebels to leave #Aleppo to avoid total devastation & loss of lives. @UN_Radio reports:


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.@UN Special Envoy for #Syria sends a powerful message on #Aleppo, pleads to Al Nusra to leave the city, and to Gvt to stop bombardments.

DeMistura to Nusra: If you did decide to leave in dignity & with your weapons to Idlib or anywhere, I personally am ready physically to accompany you




De Mistura to RUS-SYR: Are you ready to announce bombing halt, if Nusra leaves & ensure that local administration in E.Aleppo remains in place





Interview of Sergey Lavrov by Christiane Amanpour on 2016-10-12


My interview with Russian FM Lavrov, Parts One ( ), Two ( ), and Three ( )


Read also the full text of FM Sergey Lavrov’s interview with @camanpour program on @cnni 



Sergey Lavrov, referring to the 15/10 special international ministerial on Syria:

"Well, this is news, which I hope will not just remain news for a day or two, but which will launch a serious dialogue on the basis of the principles contained in the Russian-American deal, which was broadly welcomed, but which, unfortunately, was not launched, and they come back to the reasons.


The violation of the ceasefire happened by the American coalition, who attacked the Syrian government, which they were not supposed to do and which they said they would never plan. But the very interesting and very specific criteria, which was not respected by the United States, was the deal described in the greatest detail regarding pulling back from Castello Road. The government from one side of the road, the opposition from another side of the road. The distances for heavy weaponry, for the personnel were agreed – a kilometre, a kilometre and a half, three kilometres, and so on and so forth.


And when we tried to relaunch the ceasefire, there was a deal that this would be part of it. Three-day quiet, humanitarian deliveries via Castello Road. And the Americans said that they cannot make sure that the opposition pulls back, which made us believe that they’re not so influential on the ground. That’s why the participation of the regional powers is very important. I think this would be more instrumental than just talking to the United States."


Sergey Lavrov (in response to who he is referring to): "Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, probably."


Sergey Lavrov: "If you speak about Aleppo, we strongly supported the initiative by Staffan de Mistura, who proposed that Nusra should be invited to leave Eastern Aleppo with the weapons, in dignity, as he put it, even, you know, with all the Security Council decisions regarding no deals with terrorists, we supported de Mistura’s initiative for Nusra to leave and those moderates who want to leave together with Nusra, and for the moderates who would stay in Aleppo to sign up to the cessation of hostilities written down.


This was actually the crux of our draft resolution which we put to a vote in the Security Council immediately after we blocked very one-sided French paper, but this Russian draft containing the support of de Mistura’s proposal was not supported and was voted against by all Western representatives and some other members of the Security Council. We still believe and we are convinced that this plan of de Mistura must be given a chance and we are working on it now with the people on the ground, and I hope that very soon we can hear some news because without separating terrorists, without getting terrorists out, let them go to Idlib, which is the capital of Nusra and be there, because it would be easier for all of us, you know, to rejoin forces against these groups.


But otherwise I don’t think we can really expect the army of Syria to stop fighting Nusra, who is trying to use civilians as the human shield. We take all the necessary precautions and we will continue to take all necessary precautions to advise the Syrian army to be very specific and very targeted, you know, in its actions against Nusra. But Nusra cannot be tolerated, and we do not want to think [this] but we have to, that our partners in the region and in the United States and in Europe are trying to spare Nusra."



Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Channel One’s Vremya programme, broadcast on 2016-10-09




Question: There is an initiative by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura regarding the withdrawal of rebel fighters from Aleppo. How can their withdrawal be ensured, if overtaking Aleppo is what they are after?



Sergey Lavrov: We are willing to discuss this. I can even tell you that this has already happened in two communities. In one of them, the arrangements between the Syrian government and the rebels were carried out. There were about fifteen hundred rebels there who made life very hard for some fifty thousand local residents. The government reached an agreement with the rebels whereby they were to leave the area with their relatives, friends and weapons, and go anywhere they like, while the government was to refrain from attacking or pursuing them. It all went as planned. The city got back to normal: it was no longer under siege with no need to smoke out the rebels anymore. Similar negotiations are underway regarding another Damascus suburb.


By the way,  our Western partners and some zealous UN officials, such as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien, condemned this practice as forced migration. This has nothing to do with what is actually happening. Staffan de Mistura’s current proposal is an attempt to use this practice and the experience we have in this respect. Russia is ready to review this idea. What matters most for us is to understand what is actually going on, since even according to UN estimates, there are six to eight thousand rebel fighters there. Of this total, up to one half are Jabhat al-Nusra fighters, as Staffan de Mistura said at a UN Security Council meeting. I heard only what he said regarding Jabhat al-Nusra. If Jabhat al-Nusra fighters move in the direction of Idlib, where their main forces are located, for the sake of saving Aleppo, Russia will support this approach and call on the Syrian government to accept it.


But what will happen with the other half of the rebel fighters who have blended into Jabhat al-Nusra? If they want to leave with their weapons, there are no questions. But should they want to stay in the city, we would need to reach a separate agreement on how to deal with this specific issue.


Staffan de Mistura has already proposed, as part of his initiative, keeping the municipal entities that currently govern Eastern Aleppo in place. It is clear that these bodies have little sympathy for the government. We view this as a viable option and are ready to work with the Syrian government on it. That said, at least some kind of order should be maintained in this part of the city, so it needs some kind of police force. First, those who do not leave with Jabhat al-Nusra should officially dissociate themselves from this group by signing an official declaration to this effect. This could pave the way for government law enforcement bodies, the police and these armed opposition groups to form joint law enforcement bodies so as to ensure normal living conditions and make live safer for the people.


The devil is in the details. Staffan de Mistura is thinking in the right direction, but there are specific issues that must be agreed upon in a very clear and unambiguous manner. If this works out (and we are ready to do it quickly), I think that it could be the core of a UN Security Council resolution on Aleppo.











posted 2016-09-12


Call for Syria Nationwide Cessation of Hostilities (#COH) on Sept 12 (beginning of Eid) at sundown


Upon seven days of adherence, US and Russia will start joint operations against Nusrah (Al Qaeda affiliate) and ISIS.


  1. Syrian regime not to fly combat missions in opposition areas which have been delineated. (Civilian persecution must be ended.)
  2. Resumption of humanitarian action in Aleppo: Pull back for Castello road, main artery to Aleppo, and Ramouseh Gap area in southwest Aleppo.
  3. Preparatory work for Joint Implementation Center (JIC) by US and Russia to start on Sept 12 and last 7 days: delineation of territories controlled by Nusrah and opposition groups in the area of active hostilities.
  4. Upon 7 continuous days of adherence to the cessation of hostilities and increased humanitarian access, joint operations of U.S. and Russian experts will be conducted to defeat Nusrah and ISIS.





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Remarks by @JohnKerry, #Russia's FM Lavrov & @UN Special Envoy de Mistura today on






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Secretary @JohnKerry delivers remarks at a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Geneva.




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#Lavrov: Package of documents on Syria allows to establish effective fight against terrorism



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#pts - Here’s a brief summary of the US-#Russia deal on #Syria, consisting of 5 key points:…




"We hope this will be the beginning of the end of the civilians’ ordeal." #Syria


د.رياض حجاب and Bassma Kodmani


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#عيد_أضحى_مبارك، كل عام والشعب السوري الكريم بألف خير. #سوريا






USEmbassySyria's avatar

.@statedeptspox: @JohnKerry will brief at the top of the @StateDept press briefing today at 2pm ET. Watch live on 





[@infobookcom reference tweet]







Via @SyriaInstitute : Syrian coalition @SyrCoalition elects new interim govt head, to be based inside Syria for the first time


Jawad Abu Hatab, former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Aleppo University, based in Idlib



The Syria Institute @SyriaInstitute

Syrian coalition @SyrCoalition elects new interim govt head, to be based inside #Syria for the first time.…




General Assembly Elects #Idlib-based Jawad Abu Hatab Head of Interim Government #Syria #SIG


2016-05-17: International Syria Support Group (ISSG) Meeting



Statement of the Int'l #Syria Support Group after the meeting in Vienna: #SyriaTalks


Department of State @StateDept

Statement of the International #Syria Support Group Media Note → #ISSG


Statement by the International #Syria Support Group after the meeting in #Vienna - key outcomes #SyriaTalks…


MFA Russia @mfa_russia

Intern. Syria Support Group reaffirmed determination to strengthen Cessation of Hostilities



Excerpts from Joint Statement:


Cessation of Hostilities

  • welcomed the Joint Statement of May 9 by Ceasefire Task Force Co-Chairs
  • welcomed the ongoing work of the Task Force and other mechanisms to facilitate solidifying of the cessation such as the UN Operations Center and Russian-U.S. Coordination Cell in Geneva


  • Where the co-chairs believe that a party to the cessation of hostilities has engaged in a pattern of persistent non-compliance, the Task Force could refer such behavior to the ISSG Ministers or those designated by the Ministers to determine appropriate action, including the exclusion of such parties from the arrangements of the cessation and the protection it affords them.
  • welcomed the Russian Federation’s commitment in the Joint Statement of May 9 to “work with the Syrian authorities to minimize aviation operations over areas predominantly inhabited by civilians or parties to the cessation”
  • as well as the United States’ “commitment to intensifying its support and assistance to regional allies to help them prevent the flow of fighters, weapons, or financial support to terrorist organizations across their borders.”

Ensuring Humanitarian Access

  • Since the ISSG’s last meeting, the UN, in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent, has delivered assistance to 255,000 people in besieged areas and 473,000 people in hard-to-reach areas.
  • The members of the ISSG reaffirmed that sieges of civilian populations in Syria are a violation of International Humanitarian Law and called for the immediate lifting of all sieges.
  • The ISSG insisted on concrete steps to enable the provision of urgent humanitarian deliveries to the following locations: Arbeen, Darraya, Douma, East Harasta, Mouadhimiyeh, Zabadin and Zamalka.
  • Regular humanitarian deliveries must continue, according to the UN’s monthly plans, to all other besieged and hard to reach locations, including Fouah, Kefraya, Kafr Batna, Ein Terma, Hammura, Jisrein, Madaya, Zabadani, Yarmouk.


  • Starting June 1, if the UN is denied humanitarian access to any of the designated besieged areas, the ISSG calls on the World Food Program to immediately carry out a program for air bridges and air drops for all areas in need.

Advancing a Political Transition the norm

  • The ISSG reiterated the objective of meeting the target date established by UNSCR 2254 of August 1 for the parties to reach agreement on a framework for a genuine political transition,
  • In this regard, they welcomed the “Mediator’s Summary” issued after the third round of intra-Syrian talks (…) and endorsed in particular the “Commonalities on Political Transition” noted within the report as well as the “Fundamental Issues For a Viable Transition” contained in Annex 1 of the report that may serve as the basis for the next round of the intra-Syrian negotiations.
  • The ISSG notes that the parties have accepted a political transition will be overseen by a transitional governing body formed on the basis of mutual consent (...)


2016-05-04: Reaffirming the Cessation of Hostilities in Aleppo, Syria 


Statement from Deputy Spokesperson @toner_mark reaffirming the Cessation of Hostilities in Aleppo, #Syria:



"Since this went into effect today at 00:01 in Damascus, we have seen an overall decrease in violence in these areas, even though there have been reports of continued fighting in some locations.


To ensure this continues in a sustainable way, we are coordinating closely with Russia to finalize enhanced monitoring efforts of this renewed cessation."


Secretary @JohnKerry provides an update on the situation in #Syria




2016-05-04: UN Security Council meeting on Aleppo

Happening now: the @UN Security Council is meeting on Aleppo and the situation in



2016-05-04: France and Germany Diplomacy Meeting with De Mistura and HNC's R.Hijab


#Syria talks in Berlin are continuing: FMs #Steinmeier + @jeanmarcayrault now in meeting with @UN envoy de #Mistura.





2016-05-03: Lavrov on "US, Russia to jointly monitor Syria cease-fire"

Via Al-Monitor (RT @aronlund)


“I think it will be much more efficient in terms of the day-to-day exchange of information, assessments and day-to-day [elaboration] of response measures,” Lavrov said at a news conference with de Mistura May 3. The United States and Russia have been video conferencing between centers in Amman and Khmeimim (a Syrian air base Russia uses), and only on several occasions have the heads of those centers met face to face.


“Right now we will have a permanent monitoring center where United States and Russian counterparts will be sitting at the same table,” Lavrov said. “They will be looking at the same maps. They will be analyzing proposals and they will work together to make sure that any violations are nipped in the bud. Probably this is a major step forward toward a more intensive coordination of the efforts by Russia and the US and with the US-led anti-terrorist coalition generally.”




2016-05-02 | Aleppo battlefield dynamics delineated by F. Balanche

(@WashInstitute fellow/professor @univ_lyon2) at @RadioTeleSuisse

1. Nusra & pro-Turk allies started it by attacking goverment zone & Kurd neighbourhoods 

2. Assad had Palmyra & Deir ez-Zor agenda (liberate army who was held hostage) and Russia had earned legitimacy and shown "hard-power".

3. Syrian Army was heading towards Deir ez-Zor and Tabqa military base near Raqqa: With coordination IS could be chased from Raqqa in automn.



2016-05-02 | Meeting of UN Envoy for Syria and John Kerrry in Geneva: 

Enhancing accountability and CoH enforcement with additional US & Russia personnel at UN Operations Center in Geneva 

Intense work in progress to restore cessation of hostilities


Telephone discussion J.Kerry - S.Lavrov

UN Envoy to travel to Moscow tomorrow




Secretary @JohnKerry’s remarks with @UN Special Envoy to #Syria Staffan de Mistura after their meeting today:



(…) we are working over these next hours intensely in order to try to restore the cessation of hostilities, and at the same time to raise the level of accountability that will accompany the day-to-day process of implementing the ceasefire. To that effect Russia and the United States have agreed that there will be additional personnel who will work from here in Geneva on a daily basis, 24/7, in order to – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – in order to try to make sure that there is a better job and a better ability to be able to enforce the cessation of hostilities day to day.


I will be talking later today by telephone with Foreign Minister Lavrov, and Staffan de Mistura will be traveling to Moscow tomorrow for meetings.


Our hope is that over the course – as soon as possible; we’re trying to press this as fast as is possible, but I don’t want to make any promises that can’t be kept. So we are trying in the next hours to see if it is possible to reach agreement that can not just re-implement cessation, but create a path forward for the cessation to hold so that there isn’t one day of silence or two days of silence, but an ongoing process that relieves the people of Syria from this devastation (...)



UN Envoy de Mistura & US Kerry meeting to discuss cessation of hostilities throughout #Syria in particular Aleppo.





2016-03-31: Assad Interview to Russian Media

He will hold presidential elections if the people ask for it.

It is better that the President is elected by citizens not parliament

After new constitution, parliamentary elections to be held and everyone with Syrian passport, in or outside Syria, to vote


The second part of President #Assad 's #interview with Russian #sputnik & #Rianovosti, on the following link..


(found by a Tweet by @SyriaInstitute)


#Assad tells Russian media that a UN peacekeeping force in #Syria would be "unrealistic." Read part 2 of interview:





2016-03-18 #Syria | 5th Humanitarian Access Task Force Progress Report


4 areas reached (Madaya, Zabadani, Kafreya, Foah)

Six pending permits

Permits for 15 locations granted

Effort to reach 1.1 million people to end of April


Transcript:Jan Egeland, Advisor to the UN Syria Envoy, on the Humanitarian Access Task Force


2016-03-10: 4th Humanitarian Access Task Force Progress Report


Ten areas reached

Six pending permits

Airdrop preparations for ISIS-siege in progress


238,485 people reached  by 536 trucks, 870,000 to be reached from now to April


THE DAILY WRAP: @UN News roundup w/ today's news on #SyriaTalks, #LGBT, #Colombia and much more - 




  • “Ten areas have been reached by UN and partners, several with multiple convoys”. Progress in Yarmouk. "WFP [World Food Programme] has been systematically working to overcome all of the obstacles to be able to do airdrops to Deir ezZor.”
  • Six “important” besieged areas – including Darayya and Douma – remain unreached as permits and security guarantees have not yet been obtained.

Jan Egeland: April will be “the month of new procedures,” noting that these have been “too cumbersome” with too much time spent asking for permission for access.


Y. El Hillo: “Looking at the horizon between now and April, we are aiming to reach 870,000 people in hard-to-reach areas, but also the specific locations in besieged areas that we have so far not been able to reach”



On peace talks 

S. De Mistura: “We believe that having a timetable and a time limit is healthy for everyone,” the Special Envoy noted. “When we start having the talks on Monday, the focus will be on substance, on the agendas, in other words on new governance, constitution, and elections, the future elections in 18 months’ time, both presidential and parliamentarian.” 




UN #Syria Envoy & his team brief the press on #SyriaTalks & #humanitarian access Transcript:





2016-02-29: On Syria Cessation of Hostilities 


  • UN Syria Crisis Operations Centre at Geneva

  • US Hydna Coordination Team in Washington D.C.          US Syria Embassy Damascus                                                 US Syria Coordination center in Amman, Jordan

  • Russia Syria Reconciliation Center at Hmeymim airbase (near Latakia)






UN Syria Crisis Operations Centre at Geneva

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with his Envoy Staffan de Mistura in the #Syria Crisis Operations Centre at @UNGeneva



UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura with his team in the Operations Centre for #Syria at @UNGeneva on Saturday.







US on Cessation of Hostilities


Additional Contact Info to the U.S. Department of State #Syria Cessation of Hostilities coordination team:


"A cessation of hostilities in the civil war is scheduled to take effect this weekend." —@POTUS on Syria:

video :

reference to ISIL operations



.@POTUS on #CoH in #Syria: The coming days will be critical, and the world will be watching. 



الرئيس اوباما حول الهدنة في #سوريا: الأيام القادمة ستكون حاسمة والعالم سيراقب.



Statement by US Special Envoy for #Syria Michael Ratney on the Michanisms for Monitoring the Truce in #Syria:


Citing  US "Hydna Coordination Team in Washington D.C." and "US team in Geneva"



Russia on Syria Cessation of Hostilities


Retweeted by MFA Russia

#SYRIA Report of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria — Feb. 29




Russian Centre for reconciliation in Syria delivered humanitarian aid to Maalula & al-Husenia



2016-02-26: Security Council Unanimously Endorses Syria Cessation of Hostilities Accord, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2268 (2016)






Syria: towards the Cessation of Hostilities #CoH. #سوريا referred as "hydna" in Arabic for "truce/armistice"


UN Geneva @UNGeneva

Humanitarian and ceasefire tracks for Syria "moving in the right direction" – UN envoy




Thursday’s ISSG humanitarian task force meeting and progress report:


  1. Humanitarian aid on nearly 200 trucks has reached to 110,000 people in besieged areas.

  2. Trial run began for air drops aimed at reaching another 200,000 people in need, in ISIS-siege Deir ez-Zor. New efforts for the next three months with the best humanitarian logisticians.


ISSG ceasefire task force to convene today to discuss the modalities of the ceasefire


UNSC will be video-briefed and a date for resumption of Syrian talks will be announced


“If the cessation of hostilities takes hold, humanitarian assistance would reach more people not just in the besieged areas but everywhere in Syria, he said.”


“in a way we have had more diplomatic support the last two weeks in getting access than we probably had through the entire last year.”



1 Ceasefire begins

2 Regime bombs besieged Darayya, “targeting Nusra”

3 No Nusra in Darayya

4 Siege = no access Mechanism for verification?




2016-02-24: Coordination centre by Russia for 
reconciliation of opposing sides on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic started its work at the Hmeymim airbase


Retweeted by the Russian Foreign Ministry:






1. receive appeals from representatives of local authorities and armed groupings through a common telephone line and an e-mail address concerning their willingness to stop the combat actions and to negotiate for a truce;


2. provide any assistance to everyone who makes addresses to the Centre of organization of contacts and further cooperation with the Syrian state authorities in order to sign ceasefire and peace-making agreements;


3. organization of cooperation with international organizations in the field of deliveries of humanitarian cargoes to the Syrian population and return of refugees from other regions and countries.


All the contacts of the Centre are shown on the screen * and are now being spread through, first of all, the Syrian media, television, radio, SMS and e-mail as well as through all other channels at disposal.

(* shown during presentation)



UN Security Council Resolution on Ceasefire to be adopted by Saturday


#Gatilov: Russia & USA started working on #UNSC draft resolution in support of agreement on ceasefire in #Syria…



2016-02-25: Free Syrian Army Southern Front requests

humanitarian access to Daraya


Also expresses concerns on attacks over false allegations of Nusra presence (Note: Daraya is FSA-strong hold)


“We request that Daraya is placed at the top of the list of those besieged areas prioritized for humanitarian aid access”


46 barrelbombs hit #Daraya today Read our recent statement about how urgently this besieged city needs relief #Syria



ISIS-siege, Deir al Zour, receives humanitarian airdrop


UN delivers 1st humanitarian airdrop in #Syria- 21 tonnes of aid to Deir alZour… #SyriaCrisis




Challenging operation could not attain full accuracy. Link





2016-02-22: ISSG final arrangements for a cessation of


hostilities in Syria concluded today - Call on all parties 


Joint Statement of the United States and the Russian Federation, as Co-Chairs of the ISSG, on Cessation of Hostilities in Syria


Statement from Secretary @JohnKerry on Cessation of Hostilities in #Syria:


2016-02-18: ISSG humantiarian task force meeting took place


2016-02-17 | Progress report of ISSG humanitarian task force under UN auspices

Work by World Food Programme and Syrian Red Cresent:


5 sieged locations reached (cessation of hostilities allowing)

Plan ready by WFP to reach ISIS-sieged Deir ez-Zor by air

Next phase: Reach remaining besieged areas before ISSG meeting next week


THE DAILY WRAP: @UN News roundup w/ today's news on #Syria, #ElNiño, #BoutrosBoutrosGhali, #SouthSudan and more -


“We are quite pleased about the fact that [humanitarian assistance] was able to reach 82,000 people,” Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura told reporters following a conference call in Geneva with the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), comprising the Arab League, the European Union, the United Nations, and 17 countries.


It was the second time since last week that Mr. de Mistura discussed with representatives of the ISSG humanitarian access issues. Despite aid being delivered to some besieged areas of Syria thanks to the cessation of hostilities agreement reached last week in Munich, it is only the “beginning of the task” assigned to the group, according to the envoy’s Special Advisor, Jan Egeland.


“We discussed the next phase, which is to reach all of the remaining besieged areas of Syria and we should be able to do so before the next meeting, which will be in a week,” he informed the press in his capacity as co-chair of the task force on humanitarian access established by the ISSG.


“We also hope by then to have progress in reaching the poor people inside of Deir ez-Zor, which is besieged by [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL/Da’esh]. That can only be done by air drops and the World Food Programme has now a concrete plan of doing so, many of the Member States support such operation, and it is probably one of the several cases in this sub-group where the coaches Russia and the United States have had an excellent cooperation,” Mr. Egeland continued.


He added that the main goal is to reach “all of the millions in hard to reach areas,” including Aleppo, where the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today reported that intense fighting continues, including through aerial bombardments."



Our convoys brought 81,000+ Syrians food in besieged Madaya, Moadamiya, Zabadani, Foah, Kafrayah @UN @SYRedCrescent





Syrian Red Crescent Retweeted


#Relief #aid delivered to Hard to reach areas #Madaya,Zabadani & Moadamiya And #Kefraya,Foua 




Munich 2016-02-12:

ISSG measures for implementation of Resolution 2254:

Establishment of ISSG humanitarian task force and ISSG ceasefire task force

Humanitarian aid on 7 locations (1 by air) to be provided immediately - Ceasefire in a week



ISSG Joint Statement link:

Good news on #Syria: #ISSG unanimously committed to immediately facilitate full implementation of UN SC Res. 2254!Nq67Rm



Press Conference J.Kerry, S. Lavrov, S. De Mistura:


Read @JohnKerry's full remarks following the #ISSG meeting in Munich, Germany. #Syria




Excerpts from above sources

Establishment of ISSG humanitarian task force

Convenes today and next week


J. Kerry: “It will report weekly on progress or lack thereof to help ensure a consistent and timely and approve access moving forward. I will say that it was unanimous.”


Seven locations to be addressed immediately


Joint statement: “sustained delivery of assistance shall begin this week by air to Deir Ez Zour and simultaneously to Fouah, Kafrayah, the besieged areas of Rural Damascus, Madaya, Mouadhimiyeh, and Kafr Batna by land, and continue as long as humanitarian needs persist.”


(air delivery to be addressed by Russian/regime side)

Foreign Minister Lavrov: “ We welcome the readiness of the U.S. and some other countries to join operations that the Russian side, together with the Syrian Government, is carrying out to drop humanitarian assistance from aircraft in Deir al-Zor where there is the greatest number of civilians that are besieged. We have also agreed to use parachuting of humanitarian assistance in some other areas where it is possible. But the biggest part of efforts will – we will have to make on the ground.”


Secretary Kerry: “ISSG members will work together with the Syrian parties to ensure the immediate approval and the completion of all pending UN access requests. As everybody knows, there have been about 114 of them – only 13 or so, 14 approved – and that has to change.”



Establishement of ISSG ceasefire task force, under the auspices of the UN, co-chaired by Russia and the United States

Joint Statement: The ISSG task force will, among other responsibilities continue to:

a) delineate the territory held by Daesh, ANF and other groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council;

b) ensure effective communications among all parties to promote compliance and rapidly de-escalate tensions;

c) resolve allegations of non-compliance; and

d) refer persistent non-compliant behavior by any of the parties to ISSG Ministers, or those designated by the Ministers, to determine appropriate action, including the exclusion of such parties from the arrangements for the cessation of hostilities and the protection it affords them. 


The cessation of hostilities will commence in one week, after confirmation by the Syrian government and opposition, following appropriate consultations in Syria.  During that week, the ISSG task force will develop modalities for the cessation of hostilities.



Secretary Kerry: over the coming week this group will work to develop the modalities for a long-term, comprehensive, and durable cessation of violence, of hostilities. We will begin to exercise our influence by the commitment of every country at the table immediately for a significant reduction in violence as we work towards the full cessation of hostilities.


Foreign Minister Lavrov: As you probably know, during all these months we had quite an emotional discussion on who is targeting right targets – who is striking at right targets, who is striking at wrong targets. We have been proposing on many occasions to deal with this issue of – professionally now, having the agreement that the task force will determine areas taken by Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusrah. We have made a very important practical step forward in this direction.





UN Geneva @UNGeneva

UN #Syria Envoy Staffan de Mistura decides to bring #SyriaTalks to a temporary pause, and to reconvene in Geneva on 25 February 2016.



.@UN mediator suspends #SyriaTalks for three weeks



Statement by the @UN Special Envoy for #Syria Staffan de Mistura on the #SyriaTalks, made 3 February in Geneva -



2016-01-29: Syrian Opposition confirms that it will attend peace talks. Link



2016-01 : De Mistura requests clarification of resolution 2254 to issue invitations for opposition/attendees of Syrian talks


From the blog of a Resident Correspondent at UN Headquarters, New York.

Nabil Abi Saab ‏@NabilAbiSaab  2016-01-21

Document: DeMistura to Security Council re opposition's delegation: I can no longer rely on ambiguity of 2254  #Syria


HNC stands for High Negotiations Committee

CBM stands for confidence building measures


(similar RT of source by @LizSly)


As De Mistura has trouble on issuing invitations for attendees of Syrian talks -  since parties “question the UN discretion in “finalising” the opposition list” -  Council/ISSG consultation is requested for clarification of resolution 2254 concerning the Riyadh proceedings.


Should the High Negotiations Committee, established by Riyadh meeting,  be “THE” opposition delegation?


“Other Syrians, who did not attend or were not invited to the Riyadh meeting in December, speak to their right to be invited simultaneously and on equal footing, and are supported by some ISSG members in this.


Also introduces the notion of “proximity talks” (as opposed to direct talks and all people around the same table)


"I can no longer rely on the ambiguity of resolution 2254 in this respect.  The resolution refers to the particular usefulness of the Riyadh meeting. Indeed after five years of a divided and quarrelling opposition, the HNC’s establishment is a notable achievement."


"I cannot proceed further with issuing invitations unless the countries spearheading the ISSG process can come to an understanding first."


What will be the organisation- modus operandi of the talks?


"25. I am aware that parties have a different understanding of the concept of talks or formal negotiations.  Some prefer face-to-face negotiations, others reject thematic sub-groups.  I intend to operationally translate this process in organising meetings and engagement as appropriate (plenaries, bi/trilats, caucus meetings, proximity talks).  I simultaneously commit to holding regular process review meetings with the primary parties and ISSG partners.  I will also regularly engage with women and civil society, in an appropriate format and would expect them, and through them the Syrians, to hold the process honest. "


"The term caucus is also used in mediationfacilitation and other forms of alternate dispute resolution to describe circumstances wherein, rather than meeting at a common table, the disputants retreat to a more private setting to process information, agree on negotiation strategy, confer privately with counsel and/or with the mediator, or simply gain "breathing room" after the often emotionally difficult interactions that can occur in the common area where all parties are present.


The degree to which caucuses are used can be a key defining element, and often an identifier, of the mediation model being used. For example, "facilitative mediation" tends to discourage the use of caucuses and tries to keep the parties talking at a single table, while "evaluative mediation" may allow parties to separate more often and rely on the mediator to shuttle information and offers back and forth.[6]"



Official Twitter account of the HNC 


This is the official twitter account of the Syrian Opposition High Negotiations Committee. #Syria #GenevaIII




Syrian Arab Republic Chief Negotiator will be the representative of Syria at the UN, H.E. Bashar Ja'afari

via AFP - (found at Syria Deeply site)





2016-01-14: Meeting of #EU HR/VP @FedericaMog with the chairman of Syrian High Negotiations Committee…


2015-12-18: "Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution 2254 (2015), Endorsing Road Map for Peace Process in Syria, Setting Timetable for Talks"



In first political resolution on #Syria, #UNSC gives @UN major role in seeking peace 

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US Department of State:
"United Nations Security Council Adopts Syrian Roadmap Resolution"

#UNSC unanimously adopts resolution 2254, setting concrete steps to help put #Syria on road to political resolution.

(Media tweet)


.@JohnKerry delivers remarks on #Syria and the resolution adopted by the #UNSC.

(Media tweet)



 EU External Action Retweeted



via Reuters | Conference of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces conference: 

Riad Hijab, who was appointed prime minister by Assad in June 2012 but defected two months later, was elected to head Syrian opposition in talks.

(tweet by Syria Deeply) 


World Powers Talk #Syria and #ISIS in New York + more in today's Executive Summary |




Friday 2015-12-18: Meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) followed by a UN Security Council Meeting on Syria. 



2015-12-15: Analyses on the "Conference of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces"



Expert Roundup on #Riyadh’s #Syria Opposition Conference |

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Final Statement of the Conference of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces Riyadh, December 10, 2015




UN Statement on the conference





2015-12-11: "Ceasefire in Homs has great value in showing a nationwide truce in Syria is possible"


UN News Centre ‏@UN_News_Centre  Dec 11

Ceasefire in Homs has great value in showing a nationwide truce in #Syria is possible– @UN 

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"The evacuation operation from Homs was carried out on Wednesday when a UN team and its partners moved about 700 people, including 30 wounded, from the Al Waer neighbourhood and transferred to Idlib governorate, as stipulated in a local ceasefire agreement."


"The spokesperson said the evacuation, in addition to the previous entry of humanitarian assistance on 5 December, made a significant change in the lives of more than 60,000 people with limited access to such assistance living inside Al Waer and the wider geographic area of Homs, one of the most heavily damaged cities in the Syrian war that erupted in 2011."


"Meanwhile, “initiatives like this one bring relief to besieged or isolated communities and have great value,” Mr. Haq quoted the envoy as saying. “They help the perception that a nationwide ceasefire brokered by the members of the International Syria Support Group is doable and that the UN can and will do its part.”"




Riyadh 2015-12-10 agreement: Syrian political opposition and rebel groups unite to create 32-member representative committee for peace talks


[Washington Post Beirut bureau chief covering Syria]

Syrian opposition agrees to a platform & team for negotiations with the regime. Ahrar al-Sham's role still unclear…


Delegation composition - Information from the article:


(Western-backed) Syrian Opposition Coalition and (Damascus-based) National Coordination Body: 22 members

(Western-backed) Free Syrian Army groups (north and south): 8

Ahrar al-Sham (most radical rebel group - expresses strong doubts for regime tolerated opposition): 1

Army of Islam:1



.@JohnKerry: We welcome positive outcome of the gathering of the Syrian opposition in #Riyadh today. More: #Syria






Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria on the UN Security Council Resolutions that will need to guarantee the proposed ceasefires




"On Syrian Talks and Ceasefires" | An open letter to Sec. Kerry from Amb. Robert S. Ford



Author bio excerpt from

R.S. Ford, former U.S. Ambassador to Syria (2011-14), Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (2008-10)


Robert S Ford (...) in 2014 retired from the U.S. Foreign Service after serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014. In this role Mr. Ford was the State Department lead on Syria, proposing and implementing policy and developing common strategies with European and Middle Eastern allies to try to resolve the Syria conflict. Prior to this, Mr. Ford was the Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from 2008 to 2010, and also served from 2006 until 2008 as the U.S. Ambassador to Algeria, where he boosted bilateral education and rule of law cooperation. Ford served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrain from 2001 until 2004, and Political Counselor to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad from 2004 until 2006 during the tumultuous establishment of the new, permanent Iraqi government. In 2014 he received the Secretary’s Service Award, the U.S. State Department’s highest honor.




2015-11-18: J. Kerry statement concerning the ISSG 2nd meeting (from OAC briefing)


Secretary @JohnKerry on transitional process of governance in #Syria.


(Note: If direct link does not work, use and selected from "Featured" the second video (which is entitled "Secretary Kerry's Remarks at Overseas Advisory Council's 30th Annual Briefing - Nov. 18")



2015-11-19: Syria 15-day test ceasefire  in Eastern Ghouta to begin Thursday 

#Syria ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta to begin Thursday + more in today's Executive Summary |



2015-11-14: Second Meeting of the "International Syria Support Group" (ISSG)    #SyriaTalksVienna


Regime and opposition are invited to engage in discussions with the purpose of taking Syria to elections via a transitional/caretaker government.


As soon as successful engagement takes place, a UN nationwide ceasefire will be established, guaranteed by the UN Security Council permanent members and other ISSG members.



Next meeting to be held in Paris




Messages from Federica Mogherini & EU External Action

(F. Mogherini is High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission)


 EU External Action Retweeted

#SyriaTalksVienna concluded. Process has started, EU will do its part in support of UN to implement decisions taken. Next meeting in #Paris




#ParisAttacks Another sad day #SyriaTalks Meeting here in Vienna takes another kind of meaning @FedericaMog …



 EU External Action Retweeted

At #SyriaTalksVienna. Most countries around table experience terrorist attacks: best answer is uniting & delivering

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"After #ParisAttacks international community needs to unite" .@FedericaMog at #Syriatalks 

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#Paris, #Lebanon day before, Russia-Egypt 2 weeks ago, Turkey. We're together in this #SyriaTalks @FedericaMog!DG86uT  2/5





Statement of the International Syria Support Group

following the Vienna, November 14, 2015 meeting


Tweeted by EU External Action and US Department of State


#ISSG unanimously express urgency to end suffering & destruction in #Syria, destabilization & increase in terrorism …



Read statement of the International #Syria Support Group following their meeting in #Vienna 




J.Kerry, S. Lavrov and S. de Mistura Press Conference following ISSG meeting



See @JohnKerry's press conference w/ Russian FM Lavrov & UN Special Envoy de Mistura after ISSG meeting on #Syria.→ 




Nationwide Ceasefire


.@JohnKerry: 5 permanent #UNSC members pledged to support an UNSCR to empower a UN-endorsed ceasefire monitoring mission. #Syria #Vienna



Other contributions - Intelligence for terrorist mapping

Excerpt from ISSG statement:

"The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan agreed to help develop among intelligence and military community representatives a common understanding of groups and individuals for possible determination as terrorists, with a target of completion by the beginning of the political process under UN auspices."






J.Kerry delivers speech in French in solidarity to France at Press Conference following ISSG meeting


(beginning of video available at link mentioned above)



White House comments on terrorism and ISSG agreement



"Here at the G-20, our nations have sent an unmistakable message—we are united against this threat." —@POTUS on our fight against ISIL


"For the 1st time, all the major countries on all sides of this Syrian conflict agree on the process that’s needed to end this war" —@POTUS




2015-11-16: US Department of State Secretary meets with President of Syrian Opposition Coalition following ISSG meeting


.@JohnKerry spoke today with President of Syrian Opposition Coalition, Khaled Khoja. Read about their discussion: .




Analysis for ISSG 2nd Meeting


Tweeted by Middle East Institute @MiddleEastInst



"US President Barack Obama (L) talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and US security adviser Susan Rice (2nd L) prior to the opening session of the G-20 leaders summit in Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 15, 2015. (photo by REUTERS/Cem Oksuz)"

Read more:









2015-10-30: First Meeting of the "International Syria Support Group" (ISSG) 

#SyriaTalks in Vienna, Austria with the participation of UN, EU, US, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other regional and international players


Participants of the Meeting in Vienna, on October 30, 2015: China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States.


F. Mogherini: "There is hope for a political process to start under the UN auspices".


U.S. Embassy Vienna@usembvienna  7:24 PM - 30 Oct 2015

Secretary @JohnKerry in Vienna, Austria: press availability with @UN #Syria Envoy de Mistura and #Russia FM Lavrov

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Department of State@StateDept 12:07 AM - 31 Oct 2015

.@JohnKerry provides remarks about #Syria with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and UN Special Envoy de Mistura. 


Both US Secretary of State and Russian Foreign Minister reiterate the Joint Statement.






Would you have imagined a few weeks ago that we would have been able to have what Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been asking for months, that the Russia and United States, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and many other countries are involved in this conflict in one form or the other, sitting on the same table, and today having both of you sitting here, having come with a meeting of seven hours. No one left the room. No one disagreed fundamentally on the major issues. There is, obviously, areas which have been not covered by an agreement. But look at the outcome – proof. They are going to meet again in this type of contact group, which we can call a special contact group for the peace in Syria – again, within 14 days.


Concerning Ceasefires

MR DE MISTURA: The UN will do its work on that, of course, supported by the international players and partners, and we will be engaging both the Syrian authorities and the opposition in order to make sure that there are areas where we can do the ceasefires and humanitarian assistance. In any case, you will see that whenever there will be a message that there is a political process, the ceasefires will be, by far, easier to be achieved. That’s why the two things need to work in parallel.


SECRETARY KERRY: And the theory of the ceasefire is very simple: Certain parties control or influence people with guns and the ability to fight. And if we do reach an agreement with respect to some of the road forward, there would be a responsibility for those with influence and those with – those who have direct control over certain parties, they would control them. Obviously, with respect to Daesh and al-Nusrah, there is no ceasefire, there would be none, and those are the early parameters. But much more needs to be discussed between militaries, the politics. There’s work yet to be done, but there is a fundamental concept in mind that could bring even greater capacity to do the humanitarian aid to even restore people’s ability to come out of being a refugee back to a home. There are all kinds of possibilities, but they remain to be explored.




F. Mogherini: "There is hope for a political process to start under the UN auspices".



EU External Action ‏@eu_eeas 30 Oct 2015

Final declaration on the results of the #SyriaTalks in Vienna as agreed by participants … #Syria


"7. Pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communique and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118, the participants invited the U.N. to convene representatives of the Government of Syria and the Syrian opposition for a political process leading to credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections.  These elections must be administered under U.N. supervision to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, free and fair, with all Syrians, including the diaspora, eligible to participate."



EU External Action @eu_eeas 6:23pm · 30 Oct 2015

"There is hope for a political process to start under the UN" @FedericaMog #SyriaTalks!GB38gT



EU External ActionCompte certifié‏@eu_eeas 5:59pm · 30 Oct 2015

VIDEO @FedericaMog after #SyriaTalks "we have enough common ground to start @UN led political process"


Federica Mogherini ‏@FedericaMog 5:36pm · 30 Oct 2015

8 hours of substantial #SyriaTalks in Vienna. Difficult but constructive: we have enough common ground to start UN led political process


Sabrina Bellosi @sabellosi 5:39pm · 30 Oct 2015

#SyriaTalks @FedericaMog Enough common ground to launch a political process under UN auspices


At #SyriaTalks in Vienna. EU working with all relevant regional and international players to start political process

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Sabrina Bellosi ‏@sabellosi 10:23 AM - 30 Oct 2015

#SyriaTalks Ongoing meeting in Vienna @FedericaMog

(tweet includes picture above and one below)
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France Diplomatie ‏@francediplo 11:07 AM - 30 Oct 2015 

.@LaurentFabius est à Vienne pour participer aux réunions internationales sur la #Syrie

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Sébastien Fagart ‏@SFagart 10:51 AM - 30 Oct 2015

.@LaurentFabius à présidé ce matin une réunion avec les acteurs majeurs du dossier syrien @francediplo #Vienne


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VIDEO @FedericaMog speaks to the press after meeting @JZarif in Vienna for #SyriaTalks!kW86nk

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I believe it is very important that tomorrow, here in Vienna, we will have all the relevant actors, both regionally and internationally, sitting around the same table trying to define a common space for the beginning of a political process to find a solution to the crisis in Syria.
Video screen capture below:

Sec. @JohnKerry and @UN Special Envoy for #Syria Staffan de Mistura before their meeting in Vienna, Austria

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Sec. @JohnKerry with Foreign Ministers from #Russia, #SaudiArabia & #Turkey prior to quadrilateral meeting in Vienna

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2015-09-22: UN briefing on UN-facilitated Syrian dialogue

.@UN envoy for #Syria: "The Syrians deserve that we move faster towards a political solution” 

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‘Time to overcome diplomatic failure’ in #Syria - head of @UN mandated rights probe 

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"In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr. Pinheiro told delegates that it is time to give “full and effective support to the ‘de Mistura plan’,” a new political approach to solving the conflict presented in late July by the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura.

The plan calls for consultations and discussions with the Syrian parties in four thematic working groups: safety and protection for all; political and legal issues; military, security and counterterrorism issues; and continuity of public services and reconstruction and development."



UN-facilitated Syrian dialogue 2015-09-18: De Mistura meets the Syrian Coalition (opposition)

(SNC: Syrian National Coalition)


Political Committee Meets de Mistura to Discuss His Plan  #Syria

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Press release:

"Political committee met with the UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on Friday to discuss the plan he proposed before the UN Security Council to implement the Geneva I Communiqué.

The meeting discussed the letter sent by the UN envoy in response to questions and inquiries raised by the political committee concerning the plan.

The political body said it would continue to consult with the rebel factions, opposition blocs and civil society organizations about the plan and return to the General Assembly to make the right decision. (Source: Syrian Coalition)"



Media need to stand by the UN-facilitated Syrian dialogue which is in progress (backed up by the UN Security Council on 2015-08-17)

2015-09-17: De Mistura met with Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem during his sixth visit to Damascus

2015-09-17: De Mistura met with Syria's main domestic opposition figure Hassan Abdel-Azim 




Hassan Abdul Azim (L) leader of a Syrian delegation, speaks during a news conference in Moscow. (Reuters)Hassan Abdul Azim (L)  (Reuters)




Note that it has been suggested in the media that Assad seeks a compromise with Syria’s moderate opposition and that he wishes to share power with them.



National Coordination Commission for Democratic Change, Syria’s domestic opposition “main umbrella group”

The National Coordination Committee for the Forces of Democratic Change (NCC), (...) is a Syrian bloc chaired by Hassan Abdel Azim consisting of 13 left-wing political parties and "independent political and youth activists".[2] It has been defined by Reuters as the internal opposition's main umbrella group.[3] 



2015-03-03: Message of Abdul Azim to US Special Envoy for Syria, Daniel Rubinstein

US Special Envoy for Syria, Daniel Rubinstein

General Coordinator of the Coordination Commission Hassan Abdul Azim wrote the following message to the US Special Envoy for Syria, Daniel Rubinstein:


"I send you best regards on behalf of the National Coordination Commission for Democratic Change and its Executive Office.

I would like to thank you for your concern about the Coordination Commission and its continuous efforts since it was established on June 25, 2011, to unify the Syrian opposition forces and its political vision inside Syria and abroad, including the Syrian National Coalition. There is no doubt you know that we have reached more than one agreement with the Coalition in the past. On our part, we were keen to implement these agreements, and in our last meeting between February 22 to 24 in Paris with an official delegation from the National Coalition, we reached a road-map for a political solution based on the Geneva Statement and the statement of the work group on Syria, issued on June 30, 2013."









#UPDATE UN Security Council backs new Syria peace plan 


"It was the first time in two years that the council agreed a political statement on Syria and French Deputy Ambassador Alexis Lamek hailed the newfound unity as "historic."


The 16-point statement drafted by France had been under negotiation since UN envoy Staffan de Mistura presented his new approach for peace talks to the council last month.


The peace initiative, set to begin in September, would set up four working groups to address safety and protection, counterterrorism, political and legal issues and reconstruction.


The council requested that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon report back to the council on the next phase of consultations led by his envoy within 90 days."





France Mission to the UN


#SyriaCrisis: statement sends msg of regained unity. First text on #Syria political process #UNSC adopts since 2013

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Security Council Presidential Statement on Syria



There will be no victory against #Daesh without the establishment of an organized transition in #Syria #SyriaCrisis

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UK Mission to the UN


 UKUN_NewYork retweeted

Here's the text of the #Syria statement the Security Council agreed just now …




Russia - Iran talks on Syria


 Russian Mission UN retweeted

17.08 Lavrov to meet w/#Iran FM @JZarif /

17.08 Лавров встретится с главой МИД Ирана Дж.Зарифомhttps://www. …

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Moscow. August 17, 2015



"We remain on the solid basis of the Geneva communiqué of June 30, 2012, which stipulates that overcoming the Syrian crisis should be addressed by way of talks between the Syrian government and the delegation representing all of the groups that are in opposition to it. All of the decisions concerning transitional steps and reforms in that country, and any and all decisions at talks between the government and the opposition, must be based on the mutual consent of the government and its opponents. That's all there is to it."


 Russian Mission UN retweeted

#Lavrov: The settlement in Syria can only be political and diplomatic, & negotiated by Syrian parties without any outside interference




2015-08-17: UN Security Council backs De Mistura Plan on UN-led Syrian dialogue working groups - Results to be discussed at Security Council in 90 days



1. Protection,

2. Political and Legal,

3. Counterterrorism,

4. Services Continuity and Reconstruction


Parties in #Syria must cease violence and work towards political solution, says #UNSC Council

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On July 29, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, set out to the Council a new approach. “In order to work towards political negotiations and a political transition based on the Geneva Communiqué, four thematic areas need to be addressed through more focused consultations and discussions with the Syrian parties in four thematic working groups: safety and protection for all; political and legal issues; military, security and counterterrorism issues; and continuity of public services and reconstruction and development,” reminded the presidential statement.


Supporting this approach, the Security Council today urged all parties to engage “in good faith” in Special Envoy’s efforts, and to continue consultations and thematic discussions, building up on recent meetings in Moscow, Cairo, Paris and Astana. It added that rapid progress on a political solution should include full participation by all segments of Syrian society, including women.

“The Security Council requests that the Secretary-General report back to [it] on the results of the next phase of consultations within 90 days.”


2015-08-07: "Security Council Unanimously Adopts 

Resolution 2235 (2015), Establishing Mechanism to Identify Perpetrators Using Chemical Weapons in Syria"

Excerpt: "The Security Council today decided to establish for one year a Joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which would identify “to the greatest extent feasible” individuals, entities, groups or Governments perpetrating, organizing, sponsoring or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria."

7 August 2015 – The United Nations Security Council today gave the greenlight for the establishment of a Joint Investigative Mechanism to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.


(A wikipedia page has been created!)




Department of State retweeted

US Mission to the UN ‏@USUN  Aug 7

"Today the UN Security Council has taken another step aimed at stopping the use of chemical weapons in Syria" —@AmbassadorPower


Department of State retweeted

Samantha Power ‏@AmbassadorPower  Aug 7  [US Ambassador to the United Nations]

UNSC res adopted today sends msg to those involved in chem weapons attacks in #Syria: intnl community now has tool to identify you & we will


Department of State retweeted

Samantha Power ‏@AmbassadorPower  Aug 7

My remarks on why it matters for #UNSC to authorize identifying those involved in chemical weapons attacks in #Syria: 



Imagine for a moment if we asked an investigative team to determine whether certain atrocities occurred (...)  but did not ask that team to determine who was involved in such brutal acts.


That is what the new UN OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism will do in response to incidents in Syria that involved or likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons. The mechanism will gather evidence aimed at identifying the individuals and entities that have a hand in such attacks – and it will do all it can to name those individuals or entities.


To those who think that impunity will last forever for the perpetrators and all others involved in chemical weapons attacks – those who order chemical attacks, those who fill munitions with chemicals, those who drop chemical weapons – look at all of the perpetrators today who find themselves being forced to answer for acts committed years or even decades ago. Look at those who have been convicted for carrying out the genocide and war crimes in the Balkans, or those now being prosecuted in The Hague. Look at Hissene Habre, currently standing trial for atrocities he carried out in Chad three decades ago.



Samantha Power @AmbassadorPower 2015-08-08

For perps of chem weapons attacks in Syria, impunity won't last forever—see Habre trial & those convicted yrs later for war crimes in Bosnia



U.S. Embassy Syria @USEmbassySyria 2015-08-08

Ambassador Power's remarks at the UNSC vote on Resolution 2235 on a #Syria CW Joint Investigative Mechanism.


UNSC adopts res. establishing mechanism to identify perpetrators of #chlorine attacks #Syria 

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CSNU adopte à l'unanimité réso visant à identifier les auteurs d'attaques au #chlore en #Syrie 

Avec établissement du mécanisme d’investigation,nous allons vers fin de l’impunité pour attaques contre la population civile syrienne #syrie



We have moved closer to ending impunity & holding to acct those who use these barbaric weapons. @PeterWilson #Syria #ChemicalWeapons



СБ #ООН единогласно одобрил резол об учрежд Совместного механизма по расслед случаев применения химоружия в Сирии

Translated from Russian by Bing  


SAT #ООН unanimously approved rezol on established a joint mechanism on rassled cases of chemical weapons in Syria


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UN Security Council puts reliable barrier to new #chemical attacks in #Syria  #UNSC


EU External Action retweeted

Catherine Ray ‏@CatherineEUspox  Aug 7

On abuses & violations of human rights in #Syria & establishment of a mechanism to identify perpetrators of attacks …



"We therefore welcome the decision by the United Nations Security Council to establish a mechanism to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks in Syria and urge all parties to abide by it. The EU is at the forefront of the efforts to put the Syrian chemical weapons under international control, leading to their eventual destruction, and has contributed significant funds to the Syrian chemical weapons operation led by the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)."




Syrian Coalition @SyrCoalition 2015-08-08

Press Statement Khaled Khoja #UN Security Council Resolution 2235 (2015) #chemicalweapons



2015-08-06: (via NYT) "U.S. and Russia to Back U.N. Resolution to Identify Who Used Chemical Weapons in Syria"

(tweeted by Kenneth Roth)







Statements following Security Council meeting on Syria on 2015-07-29

Mark Toner: We welcome De Mistura's proposal to form UN-led Syrian working groups to advance prospects for a political solution in #Syria.


Deputy Spox Mark Toner: We share De Mistura’s deep concern for the horrific violence and the humanitarian disaster unfolding in #Syria.



On Staffan de Mistura’s briefing to the UN Security Council  #Syria


Post updated 2015-08-03 

2015-07-29: Security Council on Syria proposing UN-led Syrian working group discussions


At #UNSC Ban and special envoy outline ‘way forward’ on political solution for war-torn #Syria 

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Excerpt 1:

Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura:

"I now intend to invite Syrians to parallel thematic discussions through intra-Syrian working groups addressing the key aspects of the Geneva Communiqué,” safety and protection for all; political and constitutional Issues; military and security issues; public institutions; and reconstruction and development.


These working groups will start generating movement towards a “Syrian-owned framework document” on the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué, explained Mr. de Mistura, convinced that this effort should be led by a “Steering committee” composed of Syrians from these thematic groups and possibly elsewhere.


“The framework document will also provide for a transitional governing body, procedures for a national dialogue, the constitution drafting process and transitional justice issues,” continued the Special Envoy.


Excerpt 2:

"The Secretary General said he stands ready to convene a “high-level international conference” to endorse any recommendations or agreement that the Syrian-led political process his Special Envoy intends to initiate may reach, including on the issue of the Transitional Governing Body."



#Syria ’s grim statistics reflect need for political settlement, Security Council told 


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Updates for UN Envoy Staffan de Mistura




Kenneth Roth @KenRoth 2015-07-31

With peace prospects remote, UN envoy de Mistura should press to end barrel bombing civilians.


 Liz Sly retweeted  2015-07-31

Emile Hokayem ‏@emile_hokayem

Good piece looking at UN envoy de Mistura's character, choices, record in dealing with Syrian crisis by @janinedigi …


@UNGeneva 2015-08-05

UN Envoy Staffan de Mistura on the latest efforts to end the #SyriaCrisis:

Media preview

UN Special Envoy for #Syria de Mistura visits Iran, China, Egypt in ongoing consultations:

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Friends of the Syrian People (Friends of Syria): group of up to 120 countries convening on Syria

(created when a Syria-related resolution was blocked by veto at the UN Security Council)


“International diplomatic collective of countries and bodies convening periodically on the topic of Syria outside the U.N. Security Council. The collective was created in response to a Russian and Chinese veto on a Security Council resolution condemning Syria; American president Barack Obama has stated that it was organized by the United States.[2]"

(Modified excerpt and excerpt)

In February 2012, France and Britain had drafted a resolution that condemned the Syrian government's violent crackdown on 11 months of protests and backed an Arab League peace plan that would see President Bashar al-Assad give up power.


Russia and China vetoed the resolution at the U.N. Security Council.


"France is not giving up," Sarkozy said in a statement, saying France was in touch with Arab and European partners to create a "Friends of the Syrian People Group" that would marshal international support to implement the Arab League plan."



1st Meeting – Tunis, 24th February 2012 – More than 60 countries

Inaugural conference in Tunis

"On 24 February 2012, the Friends of Syria met for the first time, in Tunis. Prior activities included a diplomatic push by Hillary Clinton and her associates like Anne-Marie Slaughter and Michael Hirsh, who wrote pieces in favour of intervention in the American press. Anne-Marie Slaughter imagined that Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan would be able to create "no-kill zones", and argued that Syria was more central to American interests than Libya had been.[7]"



US Department of State Press Release:


Tunisia's Foreign Affairs Minister Rafik Abdessalem (C) addresses participants on February 24, 2012 during the "Friends of Syria" conference at which representatives from over 60 countries will discuss the crisis in Syria, with a focus on aid and a political resolution of the violent conflict which has killed over 7000 people since the beginning of pro-democracy demonstrations a year ago. Western and Arab nations are to challenge Syria to allow in desperately needed humanitarian aid at a meeting today aimed at tackling President Bashar al-Assad's increasingly bloody crackdown. PHOTO: AFP

Tunisia's Foreign Affairs Minister Rafik Abdessalem (Center), Secreatary General of Arab League (Right).

Source AFP




Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a news conference following the Friends of Syria Conference in Tunis, February 24, 2012.








2nd Meeting – Istanbul, 1st April 2012 – 83 countries

Seventy nations participated in the conference held on 1 April 2012 to support Syrian opposition and increase pressure on the Syrian government.


Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Press release









Source: Associated Press






3rd Meeting – Paris, 6th July 2012 - More than 100 countries


Conférence des Amis du peuple syrien (6 juillet 2012)


UK GOV (Foreign Office)


Images below from

or Images France/Syrie


© Ministère des Affaires étrangères/Frédéric de La Mure
N° d'identification : 12-07-06/amipeupSy02



Conférence du groupe des amis du peuple syrien : discours de François Hollande, président de la République (Paris, CCM, Centre de Conférences ministérielles).
© Ministère des Affaires étrangères/Frédéric de La Mure
N° d'identification : 12-07-06/amipeupSy21




© Ministère des Affaires étrangères/Frédéric de La Mure
N° d'identification : 12-07-06/amipeupSy26



Conférence du groupe des amis du peuple syrien: Exposition photographique dans le hall du CCM (Paris, Centre de Conférences ministérielles).

© Ministère des Affaires étrangères/Frédéric de La Mure
N° d'identification : 12-07-06/amipeupSy29



Photo de famille autour de Laurent Fabius, ministre des Affaires étrangères

© Ministère des Affaires étrangères/Frédéric de La Mure
N° d'identification : 12-07-06/amipeupSy30



Inauguration of the House of the Syrian People in Paris on 2012

Inauguration de la "Maison du Peuple syrien" : conférence de presse de Laurent Fabius, ministre des Affaires étrangères (Paris, CCM, Centre de Conférences ministérielles).
© Ministère des Affaires étrangères/Frédéric de La Mure
N° d'identification : 12-07-05/MaisPeuSy21




4th Meeting – Marrakech, 12th December 2012 – more than 130 countries


Source: AFP





Other meetings followed | Non-exhaustive list

(Note that only the "Core" of the organization, consisting of eleven countries, would convene at some later instances).


Rome, 28th February 2013 (around 50 countries)


Istanbul, 20th April 2013 (11 countries)


Amman, 22nd May 2013


Paris,12th January 2014 - Ministerial Meeting - Friends of Syria Core Group - 11 countries)


London, 15th May 2014 (Friends of Syria Core Group – 11 countries)