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Syrian ceasefire on brink of collapse: UN envoy

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 01:53

U.N. Special Envoy for Syria urges the leaders of Russia and the U.S. to salvage the ''barely alive'' two-month cessation of hostilities in Syria. Natasha Howitt reports.

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U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura says a Syrian ceasefire is on the brink of collapse and needs to be saved. After briefing the U.N. Security Council, he spoke to reporters in Geneva. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA, STAFFAN DE MISTURA, SAYING: "But what we need to do, and to hear, is that the cessation of hostilities is salvaged. And that the cessation of hostilities is saved from a total collapse. It's still there, it's still there, because many areas it's still there, but it's in great danger. It's still alive, but barely." His comments come after a third round of Syrian peace talks, which are struggling to stay alive. A delicate ceasefire, sponsored by both Russia and the U.S., has been in place since February. But it has been left in tatters by increased fighting in recent weeks. Just last week, the main Syrian opposition group left the talks in protest. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA, STAFFAN DE MISTURA, SAYING: "The next rounds of talks are going to take place because we need and we want to keep the momentum, but let's be frank, they will be meaningful only if and when the cessation of hostilities is brought back to the level we saw in February and in March. Hence my appeal for a U.S.-Russian urgent initiative, at the highest level, because the legacy of both President Obama and President Putin is linked to the success of what has been a unique initiative which started very well and needs to end very well." De Mistura says that in one 48 hour period, an average of one Syrian was wounded every 13 minutes, and one killed every 25.

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Syrian ceasefire on brink of collapse: UN envoy

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 01:53