GENEVA, March 13 /TASS/. Hanaa Singer, UNICEF representative in Syria, on Friday denied media allegations that she had called for negotiations with the Islamic State extremists.
In an interview with TASS Singer said that her main aim was to protect children. That is why it was necessary to negotiate with someone who could ensure their protection. But it is not a call to negotiate with IS, the UNICEF representative said explaining that at a briefing in Geneva she had just urged the world community to do everything within its power, including contacts with all the parties in Syrian conflict, possibly including IS, to help the Syrian children to survive under the current grave circumstances.
Earlier, Reuters news agency reported that Singer had urged the world community to begin talks with the Islamic State terrorists. Reuters cited Singer as saying that the world community should exert pressure on ISIL to force it to grant access to UNICEF representatives to the extremists-held territories.
"Countries and the United Nations Security Council should influence various sides (in the Syrian conflict) . It is them who should start discussing the position of children," Singer told TASS stressing the need to stop the practice of using children as soldiers.
The UNICEF representative also said that 5.6 million children in Syria needed urgent relief aid. According to her, there is not a single child in Syria who has not been hurt in the Syrian conflict. All of them have been traumatized. All of them have seen manifestations of extreme violence. Many children have lost their family and relatives, the UNICEF representative said in conclusion.
According to UNICEF, about 230 million children live in counties hit by armed conflicts, including 15 million in areas of fierce military confrontation such as in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, the State of Palestine, Syria and Ukraine.