DAMASCUS, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The ceasefire agreement between the Syrian government forces and the opposition has been welcomed by many international organizations and countries.
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Thursday that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed reports of warring parties in Syria agreeing to observe a ceasefire during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, starting on Friday.
"It's important that all sides will adhere to this," Nesirky said at a daily news briefing.
"We all understand that there is a lack of trust between parties, and therefore we all understand that we cannot be sure yet what will transpire, but the hope is that guns will fall silent for the people of Syria, so that they have peace and quiet during this holy holiday," said Nesirky, who also noted the need for humanitarian access.
The UN Security Council has welcomed the ceasefire initiative and called on "all regional and international actors to use their influence on the parties concerned to facilitate the implementation of the ceasefire and cessation of violence."
"The Security Council welcomed the important and timely initiative of the joint special representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, for a ceasefire and a cessation of violence in all its forms during the period of Eid al-Adha," it said in a statement.
The Syrian army and the armed rebels on Thursday voiced commitment to the internationally-backed ceasefire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice.
The Syrian army announced in a statement the halt of all military operations nationwide for the next four days to mark Eid al-Adha, however, preserving the right to retaliate in case the armed rebels continue aggressions against civilians and government troops. A number of armed opposition forces also promised to follow suit.
The ceasefire was hailed by the United States, which said on Thursday it was hoping for space out of a ceasefire agreed in Syria for more work on a political transition in the Arab nation.
"I think we all would agree that any day in Syria without violence is progress," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
"And obviously, if we can get the ceasefire in place, it might open space for more work to be done on a transition," she told reporters at a regular press briefing.
"What we are hoping and expecting is that they will not just talk the talk of ceasefire, but that they will walk the walk, beginning with the regime, and we will be watching very closely," Nuland added.
Washington and its allies are pushing for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to make way for a peaceful transition in his country. Nuland said the U.S. was continuing to work with the Syrian opposition on their own transition plan and leadership structure.
The ceasefire announcement was also applauded by Moscow as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier on Thursday that Moscow considered the stop of violence in Syria as a priority to solve the crisis at current stage.
More than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have reportedly died in Syria since the country's crisis began some 20 months ago. A further 2.5 million Syrians urgently need humanitarian aid, and over 340,000 have crossed the border to Syria's neighboring countries -- Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, according to UN estimates.
DAMASCUS, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army and the armed rebels on Thursday voiced commitment to the internationally-backed cease-fire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha amid rejection from the extremist groups currently operative on ground.
The Syrian army announced in a statement Thursday the halt of all military operations nationwide for the next four days to mark Eid al-Adha, however, preserving the right to retaliate in case the armed rebels continue aggressions against civilians and government troops. Full story