The agreement announced by the United States and Russia, as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), reinstating the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria is very welcome. All parties to the conflict, other than groups designated as terrorist organisations by the United Nations Security Council, must now ensure its effective implementation in order to restore the cessation of hostilities, enable the lifting of all sieges and allow sustained, countrywide humanitarian access to those in need as well as progress on the issue of detainees and missing persons.
The resumption of fighting since the initial Cessation of hostilities agreement has demonstrated again that there can be no military solution to the conflict, and that the elimination of Da’esh and other UN-listed terrorist entities in Syria also requires a political solution to the civil war. We join the ISSG chairs in urging the UN to prepare a proposal for political transition, based on relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and input given by the Syrian parties, including that issued by the HIgh Negotiations Committee earlier this week. The proposal should serve as the starting point for resumption of the intra-Syrian talks as direct negotiations facilitated by the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura who has our full support. The EU stands ready to fully and actively support these negotiations in close coordination with the UN Envoy and the two ISSG co-chairs.
The EU is also ready to provide support to stabilisation and reconstruction, once a political transition has started.