Arab League welcomes UN Aleppo resolution
All representative of the 22 members of the Cairo-based Arab League voted in favor except for Lebanon
Arab foreign ministers welcomed on Monday the United Nations Security Council resolution to quickly deploy UN observers to Aleppo, the Arab League said in a statement. All representative of the 22 members of the Cairo-based Arab League voted in favor except for Lebanon, which said it did not support interfering in countries’ internal affairs.
The ministers’ resolution was issued following an emergency meeting in Cairo over Aleppo late on Monday. Earlier on Monday, the security council adopted a French-drafted resolution in the first show of unity in months among world powers struggling to put an end to the five-year war that has left more than 310,000 dead.
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Moscow, which has carried out an air war in support of the Syrian regime since September 2015, also voted in favor of the resolution. The Arab League “asserts the importance of working fast to establish a full cease-fire in Aleppo in accordance with the security council resolution,” it said.
The ministers said in the resolution that civilians must be allowed to leave Aleppo with dignity, to freely choose their destination, and to be able to return once the conflict is over. The League “expresses its deep concern for the evil aggression launched by the Syrian regime and its allies against unarmed civilians in Aleppo,” the foreign ministers said in the resolution.
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It also condemned “terrorism in all its forms” and “crimes” committed against civilians by ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda’s former Syrian affiliate, now known as Fateh al-Sham Front. Actions of both the Syrian regime and other militant groups “may amount to war crimes,” the ministers said.
Only a political solution could end the conflict, the ministers said. UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said he planned to convene a new round of negotiations on February 8 in Geneva, saying in a statement that it was “vital to build on this initial momentum with further steps.” The foreign and defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran are set to meet in Moscow today to discuss Syria.