UN voices concern over safety of civilians in NE Syria
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Monday voiced deep concern over the safety and protection of civilians in northeast Syria following reports of sporadic fighting, a spokesman said.
Some 106,000 people remain displaced of the over 180,000 previously reported, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"The UN continues to call on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and reiterates that the only sustainable solution to the conflict is a UN-facilitated political, negotiated solution among all parties, which respects Syria's unity and territorial integrity, the legitimate concerns of neighboring countries, and the diversity of the Syrian population," Haq told a daily press briefing.
The United Nations continues to call for an immediate de-escalation and urges all parties to resolve their concerns through peaceful means, he said.
A small step in the political process was marked on Monday when 150 members of the Syrian Constitutional Committee were arriving in Geneva for their first meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Haq said, citing the UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen.
The Constitutional Committee commits the government and the opposition and their nominees to sit together face-to-face in dialogue and negotiations, and also creates spaces for the voices of civil society to be heard, Haq quoted Pedersen as saying in Geneva.
The Constitutional Committee could be a door-opener to a broader political process, said Pedersen.
The agreement to establish the Constitutional Committee marks the first political agreement between the government of Syria and the opposition, Pedersen noted.