UN veto powers to push for aid delivery in Syria: UN envoy
Iran Press TV
Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:52AM
The UN special envoy for Syria says the five permanent members of the Security Council will push for "immediate action" to deliver humanitarian aid to beleaguered areas in the Arab country.
Staffan de Mistura made the comments after meeting with ambassadors from Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States in the Swiss city of Geneva on Wednesday.
The ambassadors 'undertook to press for immediate action in support of this effort in the coming few days,' he said.
During the session, de Mistura emphasized 'the crucial importance for the people of Syria to see sustained and unimpeded access to a number of besieged areas."
On Monday, a convoy of 44 trucks loaded with food, medicine, baby formula, blankets and other supplies entered Syria's southwestern town of Madaya.
An equivalent amount of aid also arrived in two other encircled towns of Foua and Kefraya in the northwestern Idlib Province.
The Syrian government recently agreed to facilitate the flow of relief aid into Madaya, which has been the scene of fierce clashes between pro-government forces and Takfiri terrorists.
Locals told the Lebanese al-Manar TV on Sunday that terrorist groups had hoarded previous aid packages for Madaya and sold it to the locals at inflated prices.
Confirming the news, Syria's Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Ja'afari said aid delivered to Madaya had been looted by terrorist groups and sold to civilians.
The situation in Foua and Kefraya could be as dire as Madaya, although media have barely covered it because the two areas are under militant siege.
Instead, they have focused on Madaya, in a bid to blame the Syrian government for the crisis.
According to the UN, up to 4.5 million people live in hard-to-reach areas of Syria, which has witnessed a deadly conflict fueled by foreign-sponsored terrorists since March 2011.
Elsewhere in his remarks, de Mistura noted that a fresh round of talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups would be held on January 25 as scheduled.
'The special envoy and his team will continue working hard to issue the invitations in order to ensure maximum inclusivity, with a view to starting the intra-Syrian Geneva Talks on January 25,' de Mistura's office said in a statement.
Vienna hosted the first two rounds of talks on Syria on October 30 and November 14 last year. The third round of Syria talks was held in New York on December 18. On the same day, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution supporting an international roadmap for a peace process in Syria.
Last month, the UN announced plans to convene negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva on January 25 in another attempt to end the deadly crisis in the Arab country.
The previous rounds of peace talks came with no significant results over differences regarding the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The conflict in Syria has reportedly claimed the lives of over 260,000 people and displaced nearly half of the country's pre-war population of about 23 million within or out of its borders.
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