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UN Security Council holds emergency meeting on humanitarian situation in Syria

January 12, 2:06 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
A decision to convene the session had been taken in the wake of reports on deaths from starvation in the cities blocked by Syrian government troops and armed groupings likewise
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS, archive

UNITED NATIONS, January 12. /TASS/. UN Security Council on Monday held an emergency meeting on the humanitarian situation in the besieged regions of Syria. The meeting was convened upon requests from Spain and New Zealand, both of them nonpermanent members of the UN at the moment, and was held behind closed doors.

The New Zealand ambassador to the UN, Gerard van Bohemen said a decision to convene the session had been taken in the wake of reports on deaths from starvation in the cities blocked by Syrian government troops and armed groupings likewise.

He indicated that that tactics of siege and coercive starvation make up one of the most characteristic elements of the Syrian conflict.

Stephen O’Brien, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, joined the meeting to report on the situation in the hard-to-get-to areas where about 4.5 million people supposedly live.

Reports said earlier on Monday a relief convoy organized by the UN and the Syrian Red Crescent Society had arrived in the city of Madaya, the Rif Dimashq governorate, sieged by government forces. A consignment of medicines and housewares also reached two Shiite villages, al-Foua and Kefraya located in the Idlib governorate.

Stephane Dujarric, the official spokesperson for the Secretary-General told reporters the UN and its partner agencies were holding talks to get access to all the areas staying under siege.

At the same time, UN officials hope for an earliest possible ceasefire agreement that is due to become an integral part of political settlement of the Syrian conflict. It is believed that the talks between the government in Damascus and the Syrian opposition will begin on January 25.

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