The United Nations Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution which draws an international roadmap for a political transition to end the conflict in Syria.
The Security Council resolution requires a ceasefire -starting from the beginning of January- across Syria to lead a political transition to end the conflict in the country that has left at least 350,000 dead and millions displaced.
“The [group] acknowledged the close linkage between a ceasefire and a parallel political process pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communiqué, and that both initiatives should move ahead expeditiously,” the UN announced on its official website.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the resolution which was adopted unanimously by all the five permanent members.
— United Nations (@UN) 18 Aralık 2015
The US Secretary of State John Kerry, who chaired the session, said that there were still “sharp differences” over the fate of the Syrian regime leader, Bashar al Assad.
"We are under no illusions about the obstacles that exist. There obviously remain sharp differences within the international community, especially about the future of President Assad," Kerry said.
However, he also said that the resolution sent a clear message to all concerned, stating that “the time is now to stop the killing in Syria.”
"The resolution we just reached is a milestone, because it sets specific goals and specific timeframes," Kerry said.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also commented on the resolution, saying the talks between the Syrian regime and opposition would only succeed with credible guarantee on the regime leader Assad’s departure.
“There must be guarantees on the departure of Bashar al-Assad," said Fabius.
“How could this man unite a people that he has in part massacred?" he said.
"The idea that he could once again stand for elections is unacceptable to us."
The Security Council resolution does not touch on the fate of Assad, who is all of Russia - one of the five permanent members of the council with veto power.
Regarding the resolution, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: "This is a clear response to attempts to impose a solution from the outside on Syrians on any issues, including those regarding its president."
Critics, commenting on Lavrov’s statement over the Syrian regime leader Assad said that Russia may not agree on any solution without Assad.
The adopted resolution, which would implement a ceasefire nationwide in Syria, said that the actions against DAESH terrorist group in the country would not be affected, indicating operations against DAESH will continue.