Syria Press Statement
This morning (1 March), Council members are still working on a press statement on the failure of the Syrian government to authorise, in a timely manner, access for Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, to assess the humanitarian situation in Syria.
Yesterday (29 February) Council members decided to respond to Amos not being able to enter Syria and a draft text to this effect was circulated. The main issue during yesterday afternoon’s negotiations was how to reflect the Council’s request for the Syrian government to allow access. It seems agreement was reached on this issue and the draft was put under silence procedure until 9 am this morning. However it seems silence was broken this morning by China. It appears that there will now be bilateral meetings to try and reach agreement.
It appears that China would like the text to reflect that all parties should cooperate with the UN and humanitarian organisations to allow humanitarian access and evacuation of the wounded. (The original text only calls upon the Syrian government to cooperate.)
Yesterday the Arab League and UN Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, said he would be heading to Cairo soon and that he had also been in touch with the Syrian ambassador to the UN to try and organise a visit to Damascus. He called for a single, unitary mediation process and for a peaceful solution through dialogue for the benefit of the Syrian people. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had also expressed disappointment that Amos had not been able to enter Syria.
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