The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution to endorse an international bid to end the nearly five-year-long crisis in Syria.
The resolution, adopted on Friday, calls for Syrian peace talks on a transitional government to begin in early January. It also calls for a nationwide ceasefire in the war-torn country.
According to the resolution, a "credible, inclusive and non-sectarian” government should be established in Syria within six months and UN-supervised "free and fair elections" should be held within 18 months.
The transition process should be Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, the text says, stressing that the "Syrian people will decide the future of Syria."
The draft also emphasizes that the truce "will not apply to offensive or defensive actions" against militant groups operating in the Arab country.
Meanwhile, senior diplomats from 17 countries, including Iran and Russia, are holding another round of talks over the Syrian conflict in New York.
They are aiming to arrange a ceasefire and launch peace negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said opening political talks among Syrian groups and implementing a UN-monitored truce are the two most important issues under discussion.
"Without peace talks, the ceasefire cannot be sustained. Without a ceasefire, peace talks cannot continue to produce results," Wang said.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, whose country is tasked with finalizing the list of "terrorist" groups in Syria, said he had submitted lists given by each country of groups they consider terrorist organizations, adding that some countries "sent 10, 15, 20 names" and others more.
"Now I think there will be follow-up steps in terms of countries meeting again to set criteria which will help filter the list," said Judeh.
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