'No time to talk politics,' says UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria

MENA

Published: 2023-02-08 19:32

Last Updated: 2024-05-23 20:42


'No time to talk politics,' says UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria
'No time to talk politics,' says UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria

Wednesday, the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim for Syria El-Mostafa Benlamlih said "My call is that we don't have time to talk politics or negotiate. We need to have open access," as reported by AFP.

Benlamlih spoke to AFP in Damascus almost 48 hours after a series of violent earthquakes killed and injured thousands of people in Syria and Turkey.

Damascus Wednesday made an official plea to the EU for help after the deadly earthquake, the bloc's commissioner for crisis management said.

The European Commission is "encouraging" EU member countries to respond to Syria's request for medical supplies and food, said commissioner Janez Lenarcic.

The European Union was swift to dispatch rescue teams to Turkey after the massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country Monday close to the border with Syria.

But it initially offered only minimal assistance to Syria through existing humanitarian programs, because of EU sanctions imposed since 2011 on Syria.

Nevertheless, the EU said the door was open for Syria's government to ask for quake assistance.

Now that Damascus has made the move, through the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism that coordinates aid, Lenarcic said the commission was asking European countries "to respond favourably to this request".

The participants in the EU mechanism comprise the 27 EU countries plus eight neighbouring non-EU nations that include Norway and Turkey.