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Switzerland: Lavrov-Kerry talks could be vital for humanitarian access in Syria - UN01:43

Switzerland: Lavrov-Kerry talks could be vital for humanitarian access in Syria - UN

Switzerland, Geneva
September 9, 2016 at 12:42 GMT +00:00 · Published

The conclusions of Friday's talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry could make "a major difference" to UN humanitarian access to civilians affected by the violence in Syria, UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said in Geneva on Friday. This, "in turn, would be having a positive impact on the way the political process could be relaunched," he added.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien, meanwhile, said that "in eastern Aleppo, the current situation remains extremely severe to the point of it being de facto besiegement." The situation, he stressed, has reached a state whereby "we need to make sure that we continue to demand, whatever the circumstances of the large discussions, we need to make sure that we continue to press for and to demand a 48-hour weekly humanitarian pause to reach the people in need by whichever route can be made secure."

O'Brien also commented on a letter sent by a group of 73 NGOs stating that they would suspend cooperation with the UN in Syria over allegations of interference by the government of President Bashar Al-Assad in the delivery of aid. "Any concerns that are raised we take very seriously and with respect, but on the actual issues of what is contained in the letter [from the 73 NGOs] it is clear that there is a question about the planning and assessment process for 2017 and that we will continue to be working together for the implementation of humanitarian effect and taking the actions necessary to meet those needs," he said.

Switzerland: Lavrov-Kerry talks could be vital for humanitarian access in Syria - UN01:43
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The conclusions of Friday's talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry could make "a major difference" to UN humanitarian access to civilians affected by the violence in Syria, UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said in Geneva on Friday. This, "in turn, would be having a positive impact on the way the political process could be relaunched," he added.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien, meanwhile, said that "in eastern Aleppo, the current situation remains extremely severe to the point of it being de facto besiegement." The situation, he stressed, has reached a state whereby "we need to make sure that we continue to demand, whatever the circumstances of the large discussions, we need to make sure that we continue to press for and to demand a 48-hour weekly humanitarian pause to reach the people in need by whichever route can be made secure."

O'Brien also commented on a letter sent by a group of 73 NGOs stating that they would suspend cooperation with the UN in Syria over allegations of interference by the government of President Bashar Al-Assad in the delivery of aid. "Any concerns that are raised we take very seriously and with respect, but on the actual issues of what is contained in the letter [from the 73 NGOs] it is clear that there is a question about the planning and assessment process for 2017 and that we will continue to be working together for the implementation of humanitarian effect and taking the actions necessary to meet those needs," he said.

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