(adds details, name of U.S. official)
GENEVA Jan 28 The Syrian government is
poisoning the atmosphere of peace negotiations with the
opposition by denying delivery of vital aid supplies to
civilians, including in the besieged Old City of Homs, a U.S.
State Department spokesman said on Tuesday.
He called for the government of President Bashar al-Assad to
approve immediately the full list of proposed convoy movements
requested by the United Nations to the Old City of Homs,
Mouadamiyah, Douma, Yarmouk, Mleiha, and Barzeh.
Damascus had made no significant steps to provide access to
besieged areas and ease the delivery of even a small amount of
relief to those suffering, Edgar Vasquez, a U.S. State
Department spokesman, said in Geneva.
"If anything, the regime is further harming the negotiating
environment through its continued denial of food, water and
medical aid to the Syrian people," he said.
"Demanding opposition forces leave an area or put down their
weapons before allowing the delivery of food and other much
needed humanitarian assistance does not constitute an acceptable
offer of humanitarian access. We've seen the regime do this
before, as part of its despicable 'kneel or starve' campaign,"
U.N. trucks loaded with 500 tonnes of food and relief
supplies are ready to enter northeastern Syria and head for
Hassakeh and Deir al-Zor as soon as the Syrian government gives
its approval, Vasquez said. Progress on humanitarian aid issues
must be separate from ceasefire talks, he said.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Jon Boyle)