Exclusive: Diplomats test waters on U.N. Syrian aid resolution

PARIS Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:34pm EDT

A Free Syrian Army fighter rests on a sofa as a fellow fighter stands near him inside a house in Deir al-Zor July 23, 2013. Picture taken July 23, 2013. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A Free Syrian Army fighter rests on a sofa as a fellow fighter stands near him inside a house in Deir al-Zor July 23, 2013. Picture taken July 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Khalil Ashawi

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PARIS (Reuters) - Diplomats have started exploring whether they could get enough votes to pass a U.N. Security EXCouncil resolution to help aid groups get into Syria as the death count mounts, a French diplomatic source said on Wednesday.

Syria's civil war has killed more than 100,000 people and left millions homeless.

France's foreign minister said on Monday the Security Council, which has been deadlocked over how to respond to the war, needed to tackle the humanitarian crisis.

"There are ideas that are still being worked on to see if, at least on the humanitarian side, it would be possible to have a resolution on access," the French diplomatic source said.

"At this stage it is a reflection, but it's not certain it will lead anywhere," the source added without specifying what access would entail.

Veto-wielding Security Council members China and Russia have already blocked three resolutions backed by the United States and European powers aimed at sanctioning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow, Assad's main arms supplier, has also indicated it would not support any resolution opening up "safe zones" or "humanitarian corridors" in Syria, suggesting the West could use them as an excuse to intervene in the conflict.


French President Francois Hollande met the newly elected head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) in Paris on Wednesday and said he stood by the organization.

France was working on political and humanitarian aspects of the crisis as well as "corridors that could be opened to support the population," Hollande said.

After Hollande's meeting with SNC head Ahmed al-Jarba, a second French diplomat told Reuters there was currently "zero chance" of getting an agreement on humanitarian corridors.

"But having said that the crisis is dynamic, is developing. There are options that disappear and others that emerge," the diplomat added.

The Council will hold an informal meeting with members of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) on Friday to discuss humanitarian access, how to end the violence and other issues, Britain's U.N. envoy said on Tuesday.

Suhair al-Atassi, vice president of the coalition who is in charge of its Aid Coordination Unit, told reporters earlier on Wednesday 13 million people needed help.

"There is a big gap between the humanitarian needs on the ground and what the different donors give ... There is a lack of everything inside Syria now," said Atassi in Paris.

"It's not just essential needs such as flour, tents or food, but also infrastructure in liberated zones where the Syrian state has to be rebuilt," she added.

France, which has so far given about 170 million euros in aid, has been one of the few countries to funnel its cash through the coalition's aid unit since it was set up last year.

Atassi said the coalition was planning to set up a transitional government at a meeting on August 3-4 - a move that would bolster its legitimacy as it moved to replace Assad's government.

(Reporting By John Irish; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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Comments (2)
lex_70 wrote:
How about these people just recall their attack mutts? Problem could be over yesterday.

And Reuters… can you please tell us what has happened to the 300 people held as a human shield in Tel Abyad?…”Islamist militants armed gangs took hostage 300 Kurdish residents of Tel Abyad, creating a so so-called “human shield.”

Can you tell us of the plight of the 2 million starving people in Aleppo under blockade by these terrorists?

Hello Reuters?…. Reuters? Oh i forgot… you have a Gallery of the murdering, cannibal, terrorists armory as a ‘highlight’…. i wonder how many innocent people they will kill with those tonight?

Jul 24, 2013 10:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
the so called rebels does not need any aid.there are plenty of dead bodies to feed themselves as cannibals they are.

Jul 25, 2013 2:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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