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Syria: Humanitarian Aid

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Twigg Stephen Twigg Chair, International Development Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) help ensure that all parties to the conflict in north east Syria uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect (i) civilians and (ii) civilian infrastructure and (b) facilitate consistent and unimpeded humanitarian access to that area.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We have been clear that we expect all parties to respect their obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure under international humanitarian law. The Prime Minister made this clear to President Erdogan on 20 October, and the Foreign Secretary conveyed this message to his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, on 10 October.

The UK has also consistently advocated for sustained humanitarian access in all areas of Syria, including the north east. We are committed to the renewal of Resolution 2249, which allows much needed aid to be delivered cross-border into Syria, and will soon begin discussions with likeminded countries in the UNSC on this subject. We also joined EU partners in a statement urging all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and unhindered, safe and sustainable humanitarian access throughout Syria. We are in close contact with the authorities in Turkey and in Iraq, including in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on the situation in north-east Syria including on the need for humanitarian access.

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