Syrians went out on Friday to celebrate the Adha Eid for the first time in the four de-escalation zones at a time when international calls were made to strike a “comprehensive deal” that allows the return of refugees and prevents the re-emergence of extremism.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, UN envoy for Syria Staffa de Mistura said: “What we are seeing is the beginning of the end of the war… what we need to make sure is that this becomes also the beginning of peace. And that is where the challenge starts at this very moment.”
The UN envoy also warned from the possibility that extremists return to Syria, similar to what happened in Iraq in the absence of a political operation that leads to the lineup of a comprehensive government.
“Even those who believe they won the war – that is the government – they will need to make a gesture, otherwise ISIS will come back in a month or two months’ time,” he said.
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an article published in the run-up of the BRICS summit published on Friday that “conditions for improvement have been created in Syria, but anti-terrorism effort must continue in the country.”
The Russian president also called on partner countries to help in the reconstruction efforts in Syria.
Meanwhile at the Elysee Palace in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron said after meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that his country plans to hold a conference in the first quarter of next year to organize the return of the Syrian refugees.
For his part, Hariri told the French “Le Monde” newspaper that “Assad must leave,” adding that "the refugees will not return while the regime is in place.”