Middle East

UN envoy visits Syria’s Homs, urges political solution to crisis

The United Nations special envoy to Syria, who is on a tour of the Arab country in a bid to find a solution to its crisis, has traveled to the western city of Homs.

Staffan de Mistura made the trip to the city on Monday and met with Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi and other local officials.

During the meeting, Barazi stressed that the Syrian government is making every effort to end the foreign-sponsored militancy in the country and tries to deliver relief aid to its people, especially those living in unsafe areas.

De Mistura, for his part, called for a peaceful solution to end the violence.

“We believe that the solution in Syria is political, not military,” he told reporters following his meeting with the governor.
The UN envoy also visited mosques and churches in areas that were once controlled by the militant groups fighting against the Syrian government.

Earlier on Monday, de Mistura met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the capital, Damascus, and talked about a local ceasefire in the northern city of Aleppo.

The two sides also agreed to unite international efforts to combat terrorism in Syria and across the region.

“President Assad … considered that the [ceasefire] initiative of de Mistura was worth studying and trying to work on to achieve its goals of returning security to the city of Aleppo,” Syria’s state news agency SANA quoted a statement by the president’s office.

On October 30, de Mistura proposed an action plan for areas where Syrian forces are fighting the terrorist groups. He said the proposal includes “freeze zones” in Syria to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid, starting with the country’s largest city, Aleppo.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are reportedly supporting the militants operating in the Arab country.

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