UNITED NATIONS - UN chief Ban Ki-moon recommended to the UN Security Council on Friday that the mandate of its Syria monitoring mission stay the same but that the operation's focus shift from observing a non-existent ceasefire to securing a political solution.
The deeply divided council must make a decision on what to do with the U.N. mission in Syria, known as UNSMIS, before July 20, when its mandate expires. The council is scheduled to discuss the issue on Wednesday and is due to vote on July 18.
"If UNSMIS were re-oriented in this manner, the Mission would redeploy from the field to the capital (Damascus) to minimize risks, retaining core civilian and military observer capacities to focus on the spectrum of initiatives feeding into the political process," said Ban's report, which was obtained by Reuters.
"From a central hub in Damascus, the civilian component would continue liaison and dialogue with opposition and government representatives in the provinces as security conditions allow," he said.