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Lavrov, UN envoy discuss assistance for earthquake-stricken Syria

On February 6, earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 hit the Kahramanmaras province in southeastern Turkey

MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen held a meeting in Moscow on Monday to discuss humanitarian assistance for earthquake-stricken Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The parties held a thorough exchange of views on the current situation in Syria and around it. They paid special attention to pressing humanitarian needs, particularly in terms of dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake and providing comprehensive support to all Syrians in need and those affected by the quake without discrimination, politicization and preconditions," the statement reads.

According to the ministry, Russia emphasized that it was crucial for UN agencies to coordinate their efforts with Damascus, as well as to respect Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity. The need to lift all illegal unilateral sanctions on Syria was also emphasized as they impede humanitarian activities and negatively affect people’s lives.

"Besides, the parties discussed issues related to efforts to promote the political process led and carried out by the Syrian people with the support of the United Nations, as stipulated in UN Security Council Resolution 2254," the statement added.

Earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 hit the Kahramanmaras province in southeastern Turkey on February 6. The tremors, followed by hundreds of aftershocks, were felt in ten Turkish provinces, as well as in neighboring countries, including Syria. According to the Syrian Health Ministry, the quake killed 1,414 people and left 2,349 injured. The Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria said that the death toll reached 3,513 in the government-controlled areas, while the number of injured stood at 7,396. There is no confirmed information about casualties and damage in the areas that are not under Damascus’ control but according to Arabic media outlets, the death toll exceeded 2,000.