U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will recommend that the Security Council keep the mandate of its Syria monitoring mission unchanged while temporarily reducing the number of unarmed military observers, diplomats said on Thursday, July 5, Reuters
reported. The idea, they said, was to shift the mission’s focus from observing a non-existent ceasefire to supporting efforts aimed at securing a political solution, which world powers say is the only way out of the crisis in Syria. The recommendation will be included in a report on options for the future of the U.N. mission in Syria, known as UNSMIS, which Ban is expected to present to the 15-nation council by Friday. The deeply divided Security Council must make a decision on what to do with UNSMIS before July 20.