BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 P.M.) – The UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen stated on Friday that the Syrian conflict is far from over and is actually “increasing at many levels.”
During his keynote speech at the ‘Mediterranean Dialogue’ forum in Rome on Friday, Pedersen expressed doubts about reports of the Syrian conflict finally concluding after nearly nine years of war.
“We have seen it most clearly in the north-east – and I don’t need to remind you about the development that you have seen there -, we are seeing it daily in Idlib, the ceasefire that was negotiated between Turkey and Russia is hardly holding. And we have seen the development where we have at least, within Idlib, 400,000 displaced people,” he continued.
Pedersen also stated that IS (Islamic State; formerly ISIS/ISIL) is not “defeated” and is “still waging attacks.”
He recommended a “step-by-step approach,” adding that “only Russia and Iran have leverage on the government in Damascus,” and that they need to work with Europe and the US.
Top business leaders and decision-makers take part in various sessions at the global forum, which aims aims to discuss, debate and outline a “positive agenda” for the future of the Mediterranean, and is promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and the Italian Institute for International Studies (ISPI).