Assad says ready to study UN plan to 'freeze' Aleppo fighting
DAMASCUS - Agence France-Presse
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets United Nations Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura in Damascus November 10, 2014, in this picture released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS PhotoSyrian President Bashar al-Assad said Nov. 10 he was ready to study a UN plan to "freeze" fighting in the northern city of Aleppo, a statement from his office said.
"President Assad has been informed by (UN envoy Staffan) de Mistura of the main points of his initiative," said the statement issued after the two men held talks in Damascus.
"(Assad) said it was worthy of study and that work on it is needed... in order to re-establish security in Aleppo," it added.
It is De Mistura's second visit to Syria since he was appointed peace envoy in July.
On October 30, De Mistura put forward an "action plan" for Syria that proposed to "freeze" fighting in local areas to allow for aid deliveries and to lay the groundwork for peace talks.
According to the Syrian presidency Facebook page, Assad emphasised "the importance of Aleppo", which rebels and the army have been fighting over since July 2012.
State news agency SANA, meanwhile, quoted De Mistura as saying he was determined to ensure that his mission succeeds.
De Mistura had previously said Aleppo would be a "good candidate" to become a "freeze" zone.
The city has been split into rebel- and army-held areas since a major insurgent offensive began there.
Since December 2013, regime warplanes have carried out near daily air raids targeting rebel-held districts of what was once Syria's economic capital, reportedly killing mostly civilians, defying a UN Security Council ban on such strikes.