UN council welcomes Syria ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey

Dozens of Syrians take part in a small gathering calling for the fall of the regime on Dec 30, 2016, in the northwestern city of Idlib.
Dozens of Syrians take part in a small gathering calling for the fall of the regime on Dec 30, 2016, in the northwestern city of Idlib.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United Nations Security Council on Saturday (Dec 31) unanimously adopted a resolution welcoming a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war brokered by Russia and Turkey.

Russia and Turkey announced the ceasefire this week, the third truce this year seeking to end the nearly six years of war in Syria.

The resolution also welcomes plans for talks to take place in Astana, Kazakhstan between the Syrian government and the opposition, ahead of the resumption of UN-brokered talks in Geneva in February.

In remarks after the vote, several delegates on the Security Council welcomed the ceasefire but said the agreement contained grey areas and that its implementation was fragile.

The original Russian draft would have had the council endorse the deal, but after last minute negotiations the language was changed to welcome and support the deal to appease some council members and win unanimous support, diplomats said.