World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Russia, US Pledge To Help Unblock Stalled Syria Talks

UN-Arab League Envoy Says Russia, US Pledge To Help Unblock Stalled Syria Talks

New York, Feb 13 2014 - The United Nations/Arab Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said officials from Russia and the United States today promised to keep working with the UN to unblock stalled Syrian peace talks, as food and medical supplies continue to reach people in long-besieged Homs.

Speaking to the press in Geneva after a two hour meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov and US Under-Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Mr. Brahimi said the officials, whose countries initiated the talks, "promised to help here, in their capitals, and elsewhere, to unblock the situation, because we are [still] not making much progress."

The UN-sponsored talks between the Syrian Government and opposition resumed Monday, 10 days after a first round ended with little progress, in efforts to end the civil war, as a ceasefire to allow humanitarian access to the Old City of Homs, cut off by siege for nearly two years, was extended for another three days.

When a reporter suggested that, with the parties stalemated on key issues, the talks can be written off as a failure, Mr. Brahini said: "Failure is always staring at us in the face. As far the United Nations is concerned, we will certainly not leave one stone unturned if there is a possibility to move forward…Syria is in a dark tunnel, and these attempts are the point of light at the end of the tunnel.

The basis of the talks is full implementation of an action plan adopted in the so-called Geneva Communiqué of 2012, the first international conference on the conflict, calling for a transitional government to lead to free and fair elections to end fighting in which well over 100,000 people have been killed and nearly 9 million others driven from their homes since the conflict erupted between President Bashar al-Assad and various groups seeking his ouster nearly three years ago.

While no new confidence-building measures were being discussed between the parties, Mr. Brahimi said the UN is "very excited by the positive things happening in Homs", where a third extension in the ceasefire between the warring parties had been announced so that relief workers can provide aid to civilians trapped there.

"But there are also some troubling, frightening things happening," he warned, telling reports that UN humanitarian workers and staff from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Homs had recently come under heavy fire in the city.

"We would like very much for [humanitarian access] to be repeated in other places, but we hope that if we do, it won't take a miracle for our people to get out alive."

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) meanwhile reports that more than 1,370 people have so far been evacuated from Homs since last Friday. Food, medical supplies and essential household and hygiene items have been delivered for 2,500 people in total, with enough food for one month, according to UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky.

"Aid was also delivered to Bloudan in Rural Damascus with food and medicines for 5,000 people, including for people with chronic diseases, in the last two days. Bloudan is only 45 km from Damascus, but it is in a hard-to-reach area because of insecurity, he said, adding that the humanitarian team reported that it took four hours to travel the last 15 kilometres, and more than 20 checkpoints had to be negotiated.

Valerie Amos, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, is expected to brief the Security Council later in the afternoon on the situation in Syria.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news