The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing a Syria peace roadmap on Friday.
The resolution calls for a ceasefire and political settlement in Syria and envisions the formation of a unity government and calls to immediately cease any attacks on civilian targets.
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The four-page draft demanded that all parties to the Syrian conflict “immediately cease any attacks against civilians,” Reuters reports. A mechanism to monitor, verify and report the truce is to be worked out within a month.
The draft resolution would also ask the UN to convene formal talks on a transitional government. The talks between the regime and opposition are targeted for early January.
“The Syrian people will decide the future of Syria,” says the draft.
Following the vote on Resolution 2254, US Secretary of State John Kerry noted that “sharp differences” on the fate of Syrian President Bashar Assad remain.
— Paulina Leonovich (@Polly_evro) December 18, 2015
Foreign ministers from 18 countries as well as the UN and Arab League representatives gathered in New York Friday to push the Syria roadmap. The group has already met twice in Vienna in the last six weeks and drafted a road map for the Syrian conflict reconciliation.
Apart from the UN and the Arab League, the group includes Russia, the US, the EU, the UK, Germany, France, China, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Qatar, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
During the conference preceding the UN Security Council meeting, new calls for Bashar Assad to step down were voiced, arguing that the Syrian President’s exit would facilitate the battle with terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
“We confirmed our position that – as the UNSC has repeatedly stressed – there can be no pre-conditions to fight terrorism,” Lavrov said, adding that such calls did not make it into the draft. He once again said it is up to the Syrian people to determine the future of their country and its current leader.
The conflict in Syria has lasted for more than four years with more than 300,000 killed.