UN to open Liaison office in Syria

August 17th, 2012 - 1:15 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Aug 16 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The UN will open a liaison office in Damascus after its observer mission in the war-torn Syria expires Sunday, said France’s UN envoy Gerard Araud Thursday.

Araud, who currently chairs the UN Security Council, told this to reporters after closed talks at the council on Syria.

The UN mission, comprising 100 unarmed observers, was established in May and tasked with monitoring a ceasefire negotiated at the time.

However, neither the government of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad nor the insurgency opposing his rule observed the ceasefire, rendering the mission useless.

The conflict in Syria has been ongoing since March 2011. The toll is estimated by various non-governmental organisations to be between 18,000 and 20,000.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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