Iran welcomes sending of UN humanitarian aid to Syria

New York, June 23, IRNA – Iran’s Ambassador and Charge d’Affaires to the United Nations (UN), Gholamhossein Dehghani said Tehran welcomes cooperation between Damascus and the UN in dispatch of humanitarian aid to Syria by that body.

Dehghani made the remarks in a statement Wednesday before the informal meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Humanitarian Situation in Syria.

The full text of the statement follows:

Mr. President,

In the complex situations such as Syria, a successful and efficient humanitarian operation needs to be guided by the criteria such as those outlined in General Assembly resolution 46/182, namely the principles of neutrality, impartiality, non-politicization of humanitarian work and respect for national sovereignty, and coordination with the national authorities.

It is an established fact that a number of armed terrorist groups are currently in control of and active in parts of Syria and control large patches of territory and arteries.

They have and continue to be a tremendous challenge for humanitarian operations in Syria. Their occupation of some densely populated regions has exacerbated the situation.

They have spread terror and intimidation among the population, who they have forcibly used as human shields. Such a control of territory and arteries by feckless and reckless groupings, no matter where it occurs, creates major threats and can kick off humanitarian crises.

This is exactly at the core of the problem we are facing in Syria. Terrorist groups, such as Daesh and Jebhat al-Nosra and their affiliates and foreign fighters that they attract, have wrecked havoc in the country and constitute the major challenge that the international community needs to confront if it seeks to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria.

At the same time, the unilateral coercive measures imposed by certain countries have had a major impact on the civilian life and economic situation in Syria, impeding, inter alia, the delivery of basic humanitarian needs such as food, medicine, medical supplies and basic services, let alone the minimum functioning of economy.

Experience shows that successes achieved in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to beneficiaries in both stable and unstable parts of Syria would not be possible without the assistance and facilities provided to the United Nations and international organizations by the Syrian authorities.

We welcome the continued cooperation between the Syrian Government and the United Nations in order to provide and deliver humanitarian aid to those affected by the crisis in all governorates of Syria and without distinction.

We note that out of the 17 restive areas, requested by the UN under June 2016 plan, the approval to reach 16 has already been granted by the government where the humanitarian activities can be carried out.

At the same time we voice our grave concern over the tragic humanitarian situation in Foua and Kefraya as a result of continued siege by opposition fighters. We want to know how UN and others plan to break this siege and ensure humanitarian access in those areas?

And finally, the crisis in Syria requires a comprehensive political settlement based on dialogue among Syrians without preconditions.

This political approach should go hand in hand with counter-terrorism efforts.

We emphasize an exclusively Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition in order to end hostilities and reestablish peace and tranquility.