World, Middle East

UN urges Syrian government to permit aid deliveries

40 aid trucks stuck on Turkish border since Tuesday due to lack of security assurances and permits from Damascus

Ahmet Sait Akçay, Sibel Uğurlu, Hale Türkeş   | 15.09.2016
UN urges Syrian government to permit aid deliveries FILE PHOTO

Ankara

GENEVA/HATAY, Turkey 

The UN's envoy to Syria on Thursday urged the Syrian government to give the necessary security assurances and permits to allow humanitarian convoys safe passage.

Forty aid trucks, carrying mostly food and flour, have been stuck on the Turkish border since Tuesday due to security concerns, an official at the Cilvegozu Border Gate said Thursday.

Speaking at a press conference in the UN office in Geneva, UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura said it was "regrettable" that Damascus had yet to provide the necessary permits.

“Those facilitation letters, a final permission for the UN to actually reach those areas has not been received. That is a fact," he said.

"It is particularly regrettable because normally during these days we are losing time, these are days which we should have used for convoys to move with the permit to go because there is no fighting," he added, referring to a peace deal in force since Monday.

Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to Mistura, also appealed to the Syrian regime to not let lack of documentation hold up vital supplies from being moved to Eastern Aleppo and other areas in need.

"Can well-fed, grown men please stop putting political bureaucratic and procedural road blocks for brave humanitarian workers that are willing and able to go to serve women, children, wounded civilians in besieged and cross-fire areas?"

A U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire that began Monday evening is largely holding across Syria and has been extended for a further 48 hours.

*Reporting by Bayram Altug and Cem Genco; Writing by Ahmet Sait Akcay,Sibel Ugurlu,Hale Turkes

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