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UN chief says border access to Syria 'essential'

IDLIB, SYRIA - OCTOBER 16: Displaced Syrians are seen near their makeshift tents at the Atme village of Idlib, Syria on October 16, 2020. In Syria, the civilians who fled from the air strikes of Assad regime and settled in Idlib's border with Turkey, live in unhealthy conditions in the tents they have established on their owns. ( Muhammed Said - Anadolu Agency )
Displaced Syrians are seen near their makeshift tents at the Atme village of Idlib, Syria on October 16, 2020 [Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency]

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday emphasised the need for large-scale border access to allow humanitarian aid into Syria, Anadolu Agency reported.

"A large-scale cross-border response for an additional 12 months remains essential to save lives," Guterres said during an address to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) regarding the situation in Syria.

Reiterating that there is "no military solution to the conflict," he said Syria is drifting toward a "no war, no peace" situation.

Since the cease-fire arrangement under the Astana Agreement, "the main front lines in northeast and northwest Syria remains static," he said.

The Astana peace process to end the conflict was launched in January 2017 at the initiative of Turkey, Russia, and Iran.

Guterres urged all countries to patriate their nationals in the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, which he called a "collective failure."

READ: US urges 'unhindered' cross-border aid access to Syria

The Turkish diplomat heading the UNGA, Volkan Bozkir, said he is set to visit Syria next week to see the situation on the ground and meet refugees.

"We can't forget" the Syrian people, said Bozkir.

Germany's Ambassador to UN Christoph Heusgen has taken a tough stance and urged Russia and China to not veto any future attempt to deliver humanitarian aid to Syrians.

Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

Hundreds of thousands of people have since been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN figures.

READ: Syrian actors perform to highlight detainees' pain

International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSyriaUN
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