De Mistura: Air drops in Syria could be inevitable in June

Orient Net - Agencies 2016-05-20 04:01:00

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The UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said the meeting in of the ISSG Humanitarian Access Task Force in Vienna on Thursday resulted in an important statement and delivered "a strong message."

"It is quite an important statement in spite the impression there was at the beginning that it was basically a replication of the Russian-American public statement," he said at a joint press conference with UN Senior Adviser Jan Egeland following the Humanitarian Access Task Force meeting.

"If you go through it, there are some areas which are quite a strong message.

"Bottom line, it is clear that both the (Assad) regime and the opposition need to be, based on the decision of the ISSG, in no doubt, that if, by the first of June no progress on land deliveries take place, and both can do an effort on that, the air bridges, air drops will become the focus of the international community," he stressed, Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported.

"Regarding the cessation of hostilities, I would suggest that you look carefully on page one, the last part. You will see that regarding the support to making sure that things need to happen has increased substantially in terms of messaging. "Then came the issue about humanitarian aid and that is linked to the Intra-Syrian talks and I will address that," de Mistura said.

"Let me be very frank -- there was a profound unhappiness, I would say impatience, regarding the fact that not all the besieged areas were being reached and that we were constantly coming up with a reminder that all besieged areas need to be reached and that was not happening.

Without improved humanitarian access and a restoration of Syria’s cessation of hostilities, the credibility of the next round of peace talks would be in question, the United Nations envoy mediating the talks said, vowing to take the "last resort" option of air drops if there is no improvement in access to besieged areas by the first of June, UN News Center reported.