UN envoy says Syrian ceasefire ‘moving in the right direction’

International task forces established to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access and a ceasefire in Syria “are moving in the right direction,” a United Nations mediator said Thursday, ahead of a Friday deadline to accept a truce.

Speaking to the press in Geneva, Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, said that today’s humanitarian task force meeting was “useful and effective,” reporting that humanitarian aid on nearly 200 trucks had reached to 110,000 people in besieged areas and, yesterday, a trial run began for air drops aimed at reaching another 200,000 people in need. However, he stressed that “nothing is enough and much more need to be done.”

The 26th of  February is a “crucial day,” Mr. De Mistura said, noting that, following a midday deadline for the acceptance of the cessation of hostilities agreement, a ceasefire task force will meet to discuss the modalities. He will then brief the UN Security Council and will speak to the press to announce a date for the resumption of intra-Syrian talks aimed at ending five years of bloody warfare there.

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.

[UN News Centre]

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