Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Syria's Assad urges greater 'cooperation' on aid  

AFP

Handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C) meeting with members of the Higher Relief Committee on May 3, 2014, in DamascusHandout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C) meeting with members of the Higher Relief Committee on May 3, 2014, in Damascus

Handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C) meeting with members of the Higher Relief Committee on May 3, 2014, in DamascusHandout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C) meeting with members of the Higher Relief Committee on May 3, 2014, in Damascus

President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday urged government bodies tasked with providing relief in war-torn Syria to increase "cooperation" with international and local organisations, state television reported.

His statement came after UN chief Ban Ki-moon issued a report saying that foreign aid was still not reaching millions of needy Syrians despite a Security Council resolution in February calling for greater access.

Ban's report last week blamed both sides in the war but singled out the government for particular censure.

On Saturday state television broadcast footage showing Assad in a meeting with representatives of Syria's governmental relief committee.

"There is a need for greater cooperation between ministries and the bodies involved in humanitarian aid, and to deliver aid without delay, and to work on the ground with all the local and international stakeholders to make aid delivery smoother," he said.

Assad's statement came three days after UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said Resolution 2139 was not working.

Referring to the wars in Bosnia and Somalia, Amos said the Council would need to pass a number of different resolutions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to get the required humanitarian access.

Chapter VII provides for binding resolutions enforceable through sanctions or the use of military force. Any such resolution would meet with stiff opposition from Russia, a key backer of the Assad regime, and China.

International legal experts have also demanded action, and called on the United Nations to deliver aid from Jordan and Turkey via border crossings controlled by rebels.

But Assad's regime has so far blocked any efforts to allow international aid to be taken into opposition-held areas through the crossings, and his latest statement gave no indication that policy had changed.

Instead, he said aid delivery must improve "without compromising national sovereignty."

"The state is responsible for covering the needs of all its citizens... not only in the areas where they have fled to (and which are in government control) but also in the areas under siege by the terrorists," he said.

Damascus refers to opposition activists and armed rebels as "terrorists," and blames them for the violence engulfing Syria.

Date created : 2014-05-03