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New Syria talks date to be announced later on Thursday

New Syria talks date to be announced later on Thursday
'I am going to discuss, and ask and consult the Security Council,' UN Syria envoy says

By Fatih Erel

GENEVA (AA) -The UN’s Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, will announce the date for a new round of talks on Thursday evening after consulting the UN Security Council.

After the International Syria Support Group's (ISSG) Humanitarian Access Task Force meeting in Geneva, de Mistura told reporters: "I am going to report to the Security Council this afternoon what is my own assessment, on behalf of the secretary-general, on the current situation."

"I am supposed to report to, what I will be telling to them. So please wait until 7 p.m. [1600GMT] and then the answer will be there," de Mistura added.

Noting about the consideration of airdrops to Syria's besieged towns, de Mistura said "If areas both besieged by the government or by the opposition, such as Kafriya and Fuah, or by the government such as Daraya and Muaddamiyah, are not accessible, the option of airdrops, airlifting, airbridging should be taken seriously into account."

According to the UN, 13 out of 18 besieged areas have been reached so far although the regime blocks aid to the remaining locations. Two weeks ago, the Syrian regime refused entry to the town of Daraya, under siege since 2012.

UN airdrops delivered aid over the last few months to Deir ez-Zour in eastern Syria, under siege by Daesh.

According to the UN, nearly one million people in besieged and hard-to-reach areas urgently need aid.

"We are still failing the people of Daraya, as we are failing the people of Muaddamiyah and al-Waer. Those are indeed three places I would say that the situation is still horrendously critical. Children are so malnourished in these places that they will be dying if we are not able to reach them," said Jan Egeland, who chairs the UN/ISSG Task Force on Humanitarian Access in Syria.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to the UN, which stopped counting two years ago.

source: News Feed
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