NEW YORK (AA) – The UN Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution endorsing a peace plan set out during three rounds of international talks to foster an end to the Syria civil war.
The unanimously adopted resolution asks UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to bring together the Syrian government and the opposition “to engage in formal negotiations on a political transition process on an urgent basis, with a target of early January 2016 for the initiation of talks”.
The measure demands that all warring parties observe a nationwide cease-fire in parallel with the political transition process.
It also requests Ban report back to the Security Council on the implementation of the resolution, “including on progress of the UN-facilitated political process”, within 60 days.
The five permanent members of the council – U.S. Russia, Britain, France and China – agreed on the text of the resolution during Friday’s third International Syria Support Group meeting in New York.
The meeting at New York Palace Hotel was attended by foreign ministers from 17 countries, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran.
The first two rounds of talks were held in Vienna where world powers agreed on a timeline that would let Syrian factions form a transitional governing body in six months and to hold UN-supervised national elections within 18 months. Friday’s resolution also expressed its support for this timeline.
The Syrian civil war, now in its fifth year, has left more than 250,000 victims dead and made the country the world’s single-largest source of refugees and displaced people, according to UN figures.