Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Fayssal Mikdad affirmed that the crisis in Syria was triggered by terrorism which is targeting Syria’s position and regional role, adding that the Syrian army is protecting the Syrian people from the dangers of terrorism.
Mikdad’s comments came during his meeting in Damascus with Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, discussing with him the role of the United Nations in response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Mikdad also stressed the importance that the humanitarian file not be politicized, calling for enhancing cooperation and coordination between the Syrian government and the United Nations for an effective response to the needs of those affected by the crisis and to ensure that aid reaches the needy inside Syria.
Mikdad highlighted the negative impact of the unilateral economic sanctions against the Syrian people, urging the United Nations to exert efforts to lift them as they contradict the UN Charter and international law.
The UN official, for his part, underlined the importance of bolstering cooperation between the UN and the Syrian government to cope with mounting challenges spawned by the crisis in Syria.
O’Brien said that he is visiting Syria for the first time to inspect the UN relief efforts in a member country and to arrive at reality-based conclusions, as well as to assess the Syrian government’s needs and its efforts to answer the needs of the Syrian people.
He affirmed that he is intent on tackling the humanitarian file in Syria away from politicization as “conflating political and humanitarian issues will only complicate the humanitarian crisis.”
In the same context, Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi met O’Brien and discussed with him work plans and the standing cooperation between the Governorate and the UN in the fields of humanitarian work and relief.
During the meeting, al-Barazi stressed the importance of partnership between the government and international and civil organizations to provide humanitarian services and relief to all civilians without exception.
He also pointed out to the reconciliation efforts currently being carried out in al-Waer neighborhood in Homs and in other areas in the province, noting that terrorists caused massive damage in some neighborhoods in Homs city which exceeded 70% in some cases, adding that the government is providing compensations to citizens whose properties were damaged amounting to 30-40% of the value of the damages to help them return to their homes.
For his part, O’Brien said that Homs provides a good, living example of how to expand work in various fields in terms of rebuilding and restoring normal life, adding that the Syrian government is providing all necessary support to ensure the success of the wrok of UN offices and to facilitate humanitarian, relief, and reconstruction efforts.