Syria

Transcript of Press Stakeout of United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Mr. Geir O. Pedersen 22 July 2021

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Thank you so much, and always a pleasure being here in Moscow to be able to meet with you (Russian Foreign Minister Mr. Sergey Lavrov) and your team here. Let me also start by saying how much we appreciate the strong support that we receive from you and from Russia to the implementation of our mandate, as you rightly said Security Council resolution 2254.

You mentioned the importance of the adoption of the resolution on humanitarian issues (Security Council resolution 2585). I couldn’t agree more. I think this is an extremely important issue and I can assure you that the UN family can do whatever we can, of course, to make sure for the full implementation also of that resolution. And I hope that we will be able to report on progress also on that.

But as I said on the day of the adoption of that resolution, I hope that the common understanding that we have made on humanitarian issues that that could also be developed into more of a unity when it comes to the political process because we need to make sure that we not only address the humanitarian issues but as Minister Lavrov said, of course, also all the issues addressed by Security Council resolution 2254.

And you know here I have proposed a few things. I had the pleasure of being in Nur-Sultan together with the Astana guarantors. Before that I was in Rome and met with foreign ministers from Europe, from the Arabs, and Turkey, and also the Secretary of State of the US Mr. (Tony) Blinken. In Nur-Sultan and in Rome, I gave the same message and that is that we need to make sure that if we are to implement Security Council resolution 2254, we need to sit down together and discuss what all of us can bring to the table. So, I am looking very much forward to discuss this today in the meeting with you.

You highlighted the humanitarian issues, of course, we also note that the economic situation in Syria is extremely difficult. Nine out of 10 are living in poverty. We have Syria divided more or less into three different areas. All of this needs to change. But for this to change, we need to start on how we concretely can implement Security Council resolution 2254. And I am sure that after our discussion today hopefully we will be able to move a small step forward on all of these issues.

But once more thank you for the invitation and looking forward to the discussion.

Moscow, 22 July 2021