U.N. delegation meets Aleppo governor on ‘freeze’ plan

In this Feb. 13, 2015, file photo, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura informs the media after talks with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz at the foreign ministry in Vienna, Austria.

In this Feb. 13, 2015, file photo, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura informs the media after talks with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz at the foreign ministry in Vienna, Austria.


A United Nations delegation in Syria met the governor of Aleppo on Tuesday as the U.N. pushes a plan to freeze fighting in the divided northern city, officials said.

U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura has made the Aleppo plan the centerpiece of his efforts to mediate a halt to fighting in Syria’s devastating civil war.

He has met government officials and opposition chiefs in recent weeks to promote the plan, seen as a starting point to be expanded to other regions, but with no signs of progress.

The U.N. delegation, led by De Mistura’s chief of staff Khawla Mattar, met Tuesday with Aleppo governor Mohammad Marwan Alabi, an official with the information ministry said.

No details of the talks were immediately available.

The delegation arrived on Monday on a fact-finding mission in Aleppo, despite the rejection of the plan a day earlier by local opposition forces.

Once Syria’s commercial hub, Aleppo has been devastated by fighting that began in mid-2012, and the city is now split between loyalist forces and rebels.

De Mistura angered the opposition last month by describing President Bashar al-Assad as “part of the solution.”

More than 220,000 people have been killed in Syria since its conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests that spiraled into a multi-sided civil war.


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