Decade-old conflict, foreign interference affected sovereignty, integrity of Syria: India in UNSC

New York [US]: Underlining that the humanitarian crisis in Syria has not seen significant improvement in the recent months, India has called for a nationwide comprehensive ceasefire, saying doing so will help to expand crossline humanitarian aid operations in the country.
At a United Nations Security Council briefing on Syria on Monday, Pratik Mathur, Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to UNGA, said decade-long conflict and involvement of external players has adversely affected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. He added that it is for the Syrians to determine and decide what is best for Syria and their own future.
“India has been reiterating since the beginning of the conflict that imposing external solutions cannot help in the resolution of the conflict,” he said.
On the security front, he said India remains concerned with the overall situation in Syria, including the increasing incidents of ceasefire violations in North-West Syria.
Mathur noted that the ongoing cross-border operations will continue to negatively impact the sovereignty of the Syrian State.
“The humanitarian crisis in Syria has not seen significant improvement in the recent months. We believe that a nationwide comprehensive ceasefire is paramount to the interest of the Syrian people; it will also help to expand crossline humanitarian aid operations. In this context, we note that progress has been made to expand the overall humanitarian response and facilitate crossline access. In the northwest, we believe there is considerable scope for expanding crossline operations,” he said.
Mathur called on all sides involved in the Syrian conflict to desist from any actions, including military provocations like missile strikes that may lead to violence and disturbance in Syria.
“Further, the growing influence of terrorist groups in IDP camps like Al-Rukban and Al-Hol needs to be urgently addressed and the issue of repatriation of foreign citizens from these campsites needs to be dealt with, on priority,” he said.
He also said that the global fight against terrorism cannot and should not be compromised for narrow political gains.
“UN-designated terrorist groups such as ISIL and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, as mentioned in Secretary General’s recent reports, have continued to gain in strength in Syria. Da’esh, has also continued to launch attacks in areas across Dayr al-Zawr, Hasakah, and eastern rural Homs,” he said.
Taking into consideration the difficult economic and social situation in Syria, which has been further compounded by the global Covid-19 pandemic and the onset of winter, Mathur said that there is a need to scale up humanitarian assistance.
On its part, India has continued to extend developmental assistance and human resource development support to Syria through grants and lines of credits for developmental projects, supply of medicine and food, artificial limb fitment camps and capacity building training programs, he pointed out.
“Since the beginning of the conflict, India has always stood by the Syrian people. Let me conclude by reaffirming India’s commitment to a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned UN-facilitated political process in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254,” he noted.

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