US And Russia Team Up To Monitor The Syrian Crisis

UN Envoy Staffan de Mistura - Photo from the UN website

In the wake of the deadly attacks on Aleppo in Syria, world leaders and civilians alike continue to condemn the violence, the casualties of which included a children’s hospital.

A report from CNN  included statement made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  His statement outlined that the USA and Russia are forming a unique alliance at a monitoring center in Geneva, Switzerland, where military members from both countries are keeping track of the uneasy cessation of hostilities in Syria,

A “cessation of hostilities” means a temporary stop in fighting that generally occurs at the start of peace processes, but is less formal and binding than a ceasefire. The cessation in place applies to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and the Syrian rebel groups, not including other terrorist units in the country whom the Syrian military will continue to fight. Russia and the USA, in partnership with the UN, are hoping to extend the scope of the cessation to include Aleppo, says the BBC.

A joint press conference was held Tuesday with Lavrov and Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations’ special envoy to Syria, says an article from the UN. Lavrov said,

Now we will have a permanent monitoring center where U.S. and Russian counterparts will be sitting at the same table.

“They will be looking at the same maps. They will be analyzing proposals, and they will work together to make sure that any violations are nipped in the bud. This could be a major step toward a more intensive coordination of the efforts by Russia and the U.S.”

Russia has long been a supporter of Assad’s government. US officials, on the other hand, blame Assad for the ongoing civil war that has resulted in the deaths of civilians.

De Mistura said that the UN was “very proud” to be able to organize a highly-advanced operations center with the help of members from both Russia and the US. He said that this Geneva operations center can help diminish violence “through the influence each side can have.”

“And I believe that can also be an experiment for the future, if this, as I hope, will be working,” De Mistura added.


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