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UN Security Council calls on all sides in Syria conflict to respect new ceasefire

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By Seamus Kearney
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UN Security Council calls on all sides in Syria conflict to respect new ceasefire

A unanimous vote at the UN Security Council has called on all sides in the civil war in Syria to respect the conditions of a US-Russian ceasefire plan.

No doubt there will be no shortage of attempts to undermine this process.

The official start of the halt in fighting has now come into force and Syria’s government and insurgents have said they will comply.

The UN resolution was jointly drafted by the US and Russia.

The UN Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura told the council members: ‘No doubt there will be no shortage of attempts to undermine this process.

“We are ready for it, we should not be impressed (intimidated), we should not be overly concerned.

“We should address it and realise that this is part of any ceasefire and certainly of a cessation of hostilities.’

It has also been announced by the UN envoy that if the ceasefire largely holds, and humanitarian access remains open, Syrian peace talks will resume on March the 7th.

The truce does not apply to Islamic State and the Nusra Front, which is allied to al-Qaeda.

“It is going to be extremely challenging, especially at the outset, to make this work,” said the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power.

“Even a partial de-escalation would make a real difference in the lives of Syrians.”