UN begins planning for Syria monitoring mission, envoys say

UNITED NATIONS - The UN peacekeeping department will send a team to Damascus soon to begin contingency planning for a possible observer mission to monitor any eventual ceasefire in conflict-torn Syria, Western diplomats said on Thursday.
The envoys, who were speaking on condition of anonymity, said the planning for an observer mission in Syria was at a very early stage, and it was unclear whether such a mission would ever be deployed. The year-long conflict that has killed thousands of civilians shows no signs of abating.
"We are very far from a peace to keep," a senior Western diplomat said.
A spokesman for the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations did not have an immediate comment. One diplomat said the UN peacekeeping team would arrive in Damascus in the coming days, but another said no date had been set.
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