Open ended Syrian truce

Syria’s cessation of hostilities is open-ended, U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Wednesday, brushing off a perception that the truce needs renewing this weekend. He told reporters he would now press on with more peace talks – though neither the Syrian government nor the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) have confirmed they will attend. De Mistura said he had heard some of the warring sides had indicated the ceasefire, which started at midnight Feb. 27, would expire in two weeks. “From the U.N. point of view and the Geneva meetings we have been having on the task force and certainly (the) Munich understanding, there was an open-ended concept regarding the cessation of hostilities,” he said after a meeting on Syrian humanitarian issues in Geneva. The Munich meeting in February was a key point in Syrian peace process, when De Mistura asked its international backers, led by the United States and Russia, to do more to make the warring sides come to the table to negotiate. They hatched a plan for a ceasefire, and the opposition High Negotiations Committee said it would support a two-week halt to the fighting”.

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