Friday, March 24, 2023

Russia Criticizes UN Humanitarian Branch for ‘Flirting with Terrorists’ in Syria

humanitarian aid have entered Syrian territories

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzya criticized the UN humanitarian branch for "hiding behind politically appropriate phrases" and "flirting with terrorists" during Thursday's Syria-themed session of the UN Security Council.

"Starting February 9, more than 900 truckloads of humanitarian aid have entered Syrian territories that are not controlled by the government through the three crossing points on the Turkish border. By UN estimates, the number of trucks that cross the border daily, has doubled as compared to the previous year. An overwhelming majority of them is directed to Idlib," the Russian envoy told the meeting.

Therefore, there are no problems with the operation of the three crossing points and, equally, no obstacles for UN trips to rebel-held areas in northwestern Syria, the Russian diplomat continued, TASS reported.

He said that according to the UN Secretariat, a total of 27 such missions have been completed by March 15. Besides, the heads of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Filippo Grandi, visited territories held by the Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group earlier this month.

"It means that due to a dire humanitarian situation, the terrorists gladly opened their doors to all UN representatives, providing them with the necessary security guarantees, and also to humanitarian convoys from Turkey. At the same time, the Secretariat is saying that there are no such sufficient guarantees for cross-line deliveries from Damascus. So the UN casts down the eye and shrugs the shoulders helplessly despite the fact that UNSC resolution directly stipulates the need to enhance the scope of cross-line deliveries," Nebenzya said.

Russia once again urges the leadership of the UN humanitarian branch "to stop hiding behind the politically appropriate phrases, as well as flirting with terrorists and their sponsors, but to call things by their real names, which means to acknowledge that Nusra’s affiliates (Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group) have no intention of opening access to humanitarians from Damascus."

"If those bandits have an opportunity to choose where the aid can or cannot come from, then humanitarian needs of the region are not as high as we are told," Nebenzya added.

"This gives us reason to think whether the cross-border mechanism, the mandate of which expires very soon now, does truly stand in such high demand. We said repeatedly that this is a flawed scheme that violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria," he said.

"The hypocrisy towards cross-line deliveries that we are witnessing, further convinces us that humanitarian provision of all regions of Syria must be endorsed by the legitimate government of the country."

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