Astana process guarantors should act urgently: UN

Astana process guarantors should act urgently: UN

Astana process guarantors should act urgently: UN

The three guarantors of the Astana process, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey, must meet urgently to re-install the de-escalation zones in Syria, the UN has said.

The UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has pleaded for a truce to halt one of the worst air assaults of the seven-year war and prevent a “massacre”, in his statement yesterday.

The “horrific” bombing of besieged Eastern Ghouta and indiscriminate mortar shelling on Damascus suburbs should be stopped, de Mistura said in the statement read out by U.N. spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci to a Geneva briefing.

The ceasefire needs to be followed by immediate, unhindered humanitarian access to Eastern Ghouta and evacuation of sick and injured, de Mistura added. He spoke hours before a UN Security Council vote on a resolution on a 30-day truce.

Several previous ceasefire attempts in Syria have quickly unraveled throughout the multi-sided conflict, which has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced 11 million people.

Humanitarian access is a moral duty: EU

Meanwhile, the EU has also called for an immediate ceasefire and access for aid trucks into Eastern Ghouta.

“The European Union is running out of words to describe the horror being experienced by the people of eastern Ghouta,” the bloc of 28 countries said yesterday.

“Unhindered humanitarian access and the protection of civilians is a moral duty and a matter of urgency ... the fighting must stop now,” the EU said in its strongly-worded statement to express its anger at bombing of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta.