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EU calls for immediate Syria ceasefire

Federica Mogherini

Brussels, Belgium | AFP | The EU’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini on Monday demanded that a UN-backed ceasefire in Syria be implemented “immediately”, as fresh government strikes on rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta killed 10 civilians.

Mogherini said a UN Security Council resolution passed Saturday calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria “without delay” was an “encouraging” step but needed to be followed up with action.

Violence has continued, raising doubts about when and how widely the ceasefire will take effect, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reporting the deaths of at least 10 people in Eastern Ghouta on Monday.

The Security council resolution was a “necessary and encouraging step but a first step,” Mogherini said as she arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

“Now that resoution needs to be immediately implemented, to have monitoring mechanisms.”

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said the situation in Ghouta was a “disgrace”, describing it as ike the “Middle Ages”.

More than 500 people have been killed in a major bombing campaign by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces that has hammered the enclave on the edge of Damascus for over a week.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron urged Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key ally of the Syrian government, to use his influence to reach a truce.

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