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Russian diplomat criticized UN for calling Islamic State "opposition"

February 27, 2015, 8:41 UTC+3
It is inadmissible to refer to Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State as opposition, says Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN
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© AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, File

UNITED NATIONS, February 27. /TASS/. Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov strongly criticised UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s recent report on the humanitarian situation in Syria, in which militants were called opposition.

The Russian diplomat urged the UN SC "to provide an adequate evaluation of terrorists and their actions."

"It is inadmissible to refer to Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State that the UN has put on a sanctions list as ‘opposition’," he said. "It is categorically unacceptable and politically incorrect. This should never happen again."

Safronkov told a meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday that Unites Nations’ constructive interaction with Damascus remains one of the key conditions for resolving the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

"We call on the agencies reporting to the UN to support constructive interaction with Syria’s authorities," Safronkov said. "We are confident that it remains one of the chief conditions for enhancing constructive humanitarian cooperation and for solving the humanitarian crisis. We are negotiating with the Syrian government for its closer contacts with UN humanitarian agencies."

Evidently, "the trouble civilians of the Syrian Arab Republic face in the sphere of access to humanitarian aid have rooted in a complicated security situation, first of all in the activity of terrorist organizations," he said expressing his deep concern over the situation in the IS-controlled Syrian cities of Rakka and Deir ez-Zor.

Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Kyung-Wha Kang told the 15-member Security Council that "Some 600,000 people have not received food assistance in the governorates since last December."

"We deeply resent the reports that the Islamic State actually steals relief aid from the UN agents and then distributes it with their own markings," Safronkov said. "We quite understand that all legal means for supplying the civilians, who are under the terrorists’ control, with humanitarian aid should be applied but under a condition of ensuring the relevant guarantees so that such incidents would never happen again."

Safronkov called inadmissible that residential areas in Syrian cities had been bombarded with mortars and homemade weapons.

"These bombardments have left over 1,000 people killed, including children, and another 200 wounded," he said.

"We call on both parties to the Syrian conflict - the Syrian government and opposition - to comply with UN SC resolutions and to observe international humanitarian law.".

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