World Bulletin / News Desk
A ceasefire held across most of Syria as Russia and Turkey secured unanimous passage of a UN resolution backing their efforts to "jumpstart" talks aimed at ending the nearly six-year conflict.
Turkey and Russia say the talks will supplement, not replace, UN-backed peace efforts, including negotiations set to resume February 8 in Geneva.
The text of the UN measure "welcomes and supports the efforts by Russia and Turkey to end violence in Syria and jumpstart a political process". It hails the Astana talks as "an important step".
The measure also calls for the "rapid, safe and unhindered" delivery of humanitarian aid in Syria.
Russia and Turkey brokered the current ceasefire and, while backing opposing forces in the conflict, have been working increasingly closely on Syria, including to allow evacuations from the besieged city of Aleppo.
The Syrian conflict has occasionally spilled over into neighbouring Turkey, with several attacks blamed on ISIL extremists or Kurdish militants.
In the latest bloodshed, at least 35 people were killed and 40 wounded when gunmen reportedly dressed as Santa stormed an Istanbul nightclub where partygoers were celebrating the New Year.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
Turkey has launched an incursion into Syria to oust IS and Kurdish militants from the border area.
Washington has been conspicuously absent from the new process to end the Syrian conflict but has called the truce "positive." Moscow has said it hoped to bring US President-elect Donald Trump's administration on board once he takes office in January.
Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin had earlier voiced hope the Security Council would endorse the planned talks in Kazakhstan and back the resolution unanimously.
But several council members had demanded clarifications over the reach of the resolution, what it would mean for the UN talks, how it might affect rebels recently ousted from Aleppo, and what it would mean for humanitarian aid.
The French foreign ministry expressed hope the ceasefire would be "fully respected," calling for a prompt resumption of political negotiations brokered by the UN.
"The unanimous adoption of Resolution 2336 demonstrates how important implementing a ceasefire in Syria truly is for the international community," the statement added.Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Ocak 2017, 14:56