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Sunday, May 14, 2023, 15:04
Syria extends permission on post-quake aid border crossings
By Reuters
Sunday, May 14, 2023, 15:04 By Reuters

Syria's representative to the United Nations Bassam al-Sabbagh attends a security council meeting on the issue of Syria's chemical weapons, at the UN headquarters in New York on January 5, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

Syria has extended permission for the United Nations to use two additional border crossings for post-earthquake aid for three more months, a Syrian official said on Saturday.

Syria "has decided to extend the permission it granted to the UN and its specialized agencies to use the two border crossings of Bab Alsalama and al-Ra'i for an additional period of three months ending on 13 August," Bassam Sabbagh, Syria's UN ambassador, said in a tweet.

"This decision is based on Syria's keenness on enhancing stability and improving the living and humanitarian situation of all Syrians, and comes within its efforts to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to all those in need in all Syria," he added.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad initially agreed to open the two crossings for three months starting on Feb 13, a week after an earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people in Türkiye and Syria. Parts of the northwest are held by groups opposed to Assad in the 12-year-long civil war.

READ MORE: Western sanctions hamper disaster responses for Syria after quake

The UN on Friday asked Syria's government to extend its approval for the two crossings to deliver aid into opposition-held zones, a spokesperson said.

The UN said in a statement on Saturday that Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad conveyed to the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, the decision to allow the UN to use the crossings for an additional three months.

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