Russia hopeful of Syria Eid truce

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Russia's envoy to United Nations
Vitaly Churkin
New York: UN Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin has said that the Security Council members were expecting a statement by the Syrian government, "maybe tomorrow", about their positive attitude towards the initiative of the Special Representative

Talking to reporters outside Council, Churkin expressed his hope that a similar attitude would be displayed "both in statements and in practice by all others who are involved in the conflict, by opposition, political groups, opposition armed groups so that we could have that seize fire and cessation of violence".

Asked whether the Syrian authorities had indicated to Russia whether they would accept the ceasefire, Churkin said, "yes they have. We have had indications that they are accepting the proposal of Mr. Brahimi. Well we'll hear their statement as we were led to believe tomorrow".

Commenting on the possibility or a spillover of the crisis, Churkin said the best way to prevent that was "to put an end to the crisis. Put an end to the violence".

More than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 20 months ago. A further 2.5 million Syrians urgently need humanitarian aid, and over 340,000 have crossed the border to Syria's neighbouring countries, according to UN estimates.

Last week, while in Tehran, Joint Special Representative Brahimi had appealed to Iranian authorities to assist in achieving a ceasefire in Syria during the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, underscoring that such a move, during one of the holiest holidays celebrated by Muslims around the world, would help create an environment that would allow a political process to develop.

Taking place on Friday, the religious observance of Eid al-Adha – or the Feast of the Sacrifice – commemorates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God. -UNifeed
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