UN envoy on Syria calls for renewed talks to solve conflict

UN says it has deployed dozens of observers in east Aleppo to monitor the last stage of the evacuation.

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

UN mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura (R) attends a news conference next to UN Special Advisor Jan Egeland after a meeting at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, December 1, 2016.

The UN's special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is calling for renewed peace talks to solve the country's conflict. Staffan de Mistura has urged the international community to help bring the rebels and the regime to the negotiating table in February. 

De Mistura praised the agreement between Turkey and Russia that paved the way for the evacuation and welcomed the joint initiative by the the two countries and Iran for talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana, ahead of UN peace talks he has convened in Geneva from February 8.

The UN said Thursday that it had deployed dozens of observers in east Aleppo to monitor the last stage of an evacuation, which is clearing the way for Syria's regime forces to retake the city.

"Thirty-one staff are now assigned for monitoring," Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN humanitarian agency said adding that the observers included both national and international staff members.

"They are all on the job right now," Laerke said.

The Syrian conflict has so far claimed over 400,000 lives and left more than 10 million people homeless, triggering one of history’s worst refugee crises in and out of the country.

TRTWorld and agencies