Political solution sought to end eight-year-long conflict in Syria

UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen on Wednesday reiterated the world body’s principle of political solution to the eight-year-long conflict in Syria, noting that there is no military solution.

“There is only a political solution to this conflict there,” Pedersen told reporters at the UN Headquarters in New York after the Security Council’s closed-door consultation on Syria.

The fact that the conflict in Syria has lasted more than eight years “has proven that there is no military solution to the conflict,” he said.

Noting that society is “deeply divided,” and there is “complete lack of trust,” the special envoy said that “we need to heal …to heal the division and to start to trust, and to be able to move forward.”

Without that, there will be “no peace scenario” for Syria, he added.

Speaking of the humanitarian situation in Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria, Pedersen said that “too many people have been killed, and we need, obviously, to see an end to the fighting that is going on.”

“It is, of course, legitimate to fight terrorists, but it has to be done with respect for international humanitarian law,” the envoy said, adding that the Security Council had reached consensus on this.

“What is happening is not proportional in relationship to civilian casualties and the fight against terrorism,” he said.

The special envoy told reporters that he would make “a serious mistake” if he does not continue to press forward for a political solution.

“We want to continue to work on a political solution that hopefully will bring peace and stability to the Syrian people that have been suffering for too long,” he said.