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    Russia Defends Syrian Government Over Aid Stalemate

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    The Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday it was not fair to blame Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government for delays in aid to civilians in the besieged Syrian city of Homs.

    MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday it was not fair to blame Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government for delays in aid to civilians in the besieged Syrian city of Homs.

    Access to humanitarian aid for trapped civilians is one of the major issues being discussed at ongoing talks between the Syrian government and the main opposition group in Geneva.

    UN-Arab League special representative Lakhdar Brahimi, who is mediating the aid discussions in Switzerland, expressed strong disappointment Thursday over the fact that no humanitarian cargo has been delivered to Homs.

    “The opposition and certain outside forces are trying to baselessly hold the Syrian government fully responsible for delays in granting access to humanitarian convoys and for the suffering of civilians trapped in the war zone,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    “To a significant degree, this is a deliberate attempt to distort facts,” the statement reads.

    According to the UN World Food Programme, nearly 500 families have been trapped in the besieged city of Homs without any aid for almost two years.

    The Syrian authorities have agreed to grant access to UN trucks and let women and children leave the war-ravaged city.

    “However, the opposition is not satisfied with such conditions and insists that injured militants should be allowed to leave freely,” the Foreign Ministry said.

    Tags:
    humanitarian aid, Lakhdar Brahimi, Homs
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