UN peace envoy discusses humanitarian access with Syria

Damascus, Feb 16 (IANS) The UN’s peace envoy for Syria Staffan De Mistura on Tuesday discussed with the country’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem the unhindered humanitarian access to besieged Syrian areas.

Mistura said he discussed the humanitarian access to all besieged Syrian areas, not only those besieged by the government, but those under the siege of the opposition and the Islamic State (IS) group as well, Xinhua reported.

The UN envoy said he will hold another meeting to discuss with Syrian officials the outcome of the recently-held talks in Munich, Germany, where world powers called for immediate aid access throughout Syria and a “cessation of hostilities” to begin within a week.

The outcome of Munich talks were planned to pave the way for the resumption of the Geneva talks between the Syrian government and opposition, whose first round collapsed soon due to the “lack of progress”.

Achieving unhindered humanitarian access and a cessation of hostilities were among a number of preconditions the Syrian opposition set ahead of the first round of talks in Geneva.

The success of materialising those two things would strengthen the negotiations ground and also help alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, who have been reeling under the pressure of the nearly five-year-old conflict.

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