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People's Daily Online

Russia says ready to support UN proposal for 48-hours ceasefire in Syria's Aleppo

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:30, August 19, 2016

GENEVA, Aug. 18 -- The United Nations' Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said Thursday night he was informed that Russia was ready to support his proposal of a 48-hour ceasefire in order to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian city of Aleppo.

"The Special Envoy welcomes the Russian Federation statement, and the United Nations humanitarian team is now set to mobilize itself to respond to this challenge," the UN envoy said in a statement.

"The United Nations count on the Russian Federation to deliver their part, regarding, in particular, the adherence of the Syrian armed forces to the pause, once it comes into effect," he added.

The UN Official also urged "all those with access to or influence on the armed opposition", in particular the United States, to ensure that the armed opposition also respects the 48-hours humanitarian pause.

On Thursday morning, de Mistura sent a strong message by calling off a humanitarian taskforce meeting after only eight minutes because of the lack of progress on the ground and ongoing fighting between factions vying for control of the war-torn country, especially around Aleppo.

He also recalled the urgent need to install a 48-hour truce in Aleppo to give humanitarian convoys enough time to achieve meaningful aid deliveries.

"Today I suspended the meeting as a symbol of deep concern and as a sign of respect towards the World Humanitarian Day tomorrow," Staffan de Mistura explained after the shortest ever meeting between humanitarian taskforce members who convene here on a weekly basis Thursday morning.

"It is also a sign of deep unhappiness about the fact that due to the lack of a pause, no humanitarian aid is reaching anywhere in Syria at the moment except Deir-ez-Zor," he added.

According to the official, the situation in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, where two million civilians are trapped, is particularly alarming.

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