Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "The United States welcomes the decision by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to appoint Staffan de Mistura as the new UN Special Envoy for Syria. Special Envoy de Mistura is a distinguished diplomat who brings a wealth of experience to this pressing crisis from his work on Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, and the former Yugoslavia.

"We applaud his readiness to continue the important mission of trying to bring an end to the suffering and brutal violence inside Syria and to forge a path toward a political transition consistent with the principles of the Geneva Communique that ultimately leads to an inclusive government and fulfills Syrians’ aspirations for freedom and dignity. We encourage Special Envoy de Mistura to build upon the outstanding work of his predecessor, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, and expand upon UN engagement with Syrians from all strata of society.

"We look forward to supporting Special Envoy de Mistura as he works to achieve a negotiated political solution, which we believe is the best way to address all dimensions of this crisis and to end the conflict sustainably." ~ John Kerry