UN skips chance to agree Syria civilian safe zones

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UN skips chance to agree Syria civilian safe zones

UN skips chance to agree Syria civilian safe zones
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The United Nations Security Council has failed to agree a plan for civilian safe zones within Syria to help residents escape the 17-month old uprising.

But Thursday’s meeting in New York ended with diplomats conceding that the proposals needed to be studied carefully.

An estimated 4,000 Syrian refugees cross into Turkey each day. Another 2,000 people arrive daily at camps in Jordan. Both countries say they are struggling to provide the most basic shelter.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called on the UN to set up refugee camps within Syria “without delay”.

“How long are we going to sit and watch while an entire generation is being wiped out by random bombardment and deliberate mass targeting like in
Azaz or Aleppo?” he said.

Before the meeting, British Foreign Minister William Hague said the proposals for safe zones would require military intervention, which is opposed by Russia and China.

But Hague did use the Security Council meeting to call on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to allow the safe delivery of humanitarian aid within the country.

“We condemn the disturbing reports that medical stocks, humanitarian personnel and aid centres in Syria are being deliberately targeted. We hope the Syrian government will hear a clear message from the Security Council today that it must meet its humanitarian obligations,” said Hague.

Ahead of the Security Council session, violence continued across Syria, with activists reporting fierce fighting in Aleppo and several districts around the capital Damascus.