Neutrality Will Help Syria Humanitarian Effort

Neutrality Will Help Syria Humanitarian Effort  Neutrality Will Help Syria Humanitarian Effort

Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gholam Hussein Dehqani said a successful and efficient humanitarian operation in Syria is subject to upholding the principles of "neutrality" and "non-politicization".

Addressing the UN General Assembly on the humanitarian situation in Syria, Dehqani said respect for Syria's national sovereignty and coordination with government authorities are important in the dispatch of humanitarian aid to the war-stricken country.

"It is an established fact that a number of armed terrorist groups are in control of and active in parts of Syria and control large pockets of territory. They have been and continue to be a major challenge to humanitarian operations," he said, according to Press TV.

He warned that the control of "feckless and reckless groups" over Syria's territory and arteries has led to major threats and can lead to a humanitarian disaster.  

"Terrorist groups, such as Daesh [an Arabic acronym for the so-called Islamic State militant group] and [al Qaeda-linked] al-Nusra Front,…have [wreaked] havoc in the country and constitute the major challenge that the international community needs to confront if it seeks to improve the humanitarian situation there," the envoy noted.

  Syria-UN Coop. Welcome

Dehqani said Iran welcomes increased cooperation between the Syrian government and the United Nations with the purpose of delivering humanitarian assistance to those affected by the war in all areas in Syria.

Out of 17 restive areas requested by the UN, the Syrian government has so far granted the approval to reach 16 regions where the humanitarian activities can be carried out, he said.  The ambassador expressed grave concern over the tragic humanitarian situation in the towns of al-Foua and Kefraya as a result of the deadly siege by opposition fighters.

The residents in the two towns are suffering from blockades imposed by militant groups for more than two years as well as the militants' repeated terror attacks that claim the lives of civilians, mostly children and women.

  Need for Political Settlement

Dehqani once again reiterated the importance of a comprehensive political settlement to the Syrian crisis based on dialogue among Syrians without preconditions.

"A political approach should go hand in hand with counter-terrorism efforts. We emphasize the need for an exclusively Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition to end hostilities and restore peace and tranquility."

Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of some 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country's pre-war population of about 23 million within and beyond its borders.