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Damascus slams UN extension of Syria cross-border aid mechanism as 'politicized'

This undated photo by Reuters shows Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants in Idlib, Syria.

Syria has censured as “politicized” the UN Security Council’s decision to extend a cross-border aid operation into the war-ravaged country from Turkey for the next 12 months, stating that the measure undermines the country’s sovereignty.

Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bassam Sabbagh said Western states solely insisted on extension of the UN cross-border aid mechanism in pursuit of their interests and agendas.

“They demonstrated their utter indifference to the sufferings of Syrian people, and proved they would seize any possible chance to target Syria. They occupy Syrian territories, violate the country’s sovereignty and enforce a blockade against the Syrian nation,” Sabbagh said.

Syria, he said, rejects this politicized mechanism as it violates the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, lacks transparency and oversight, and does not ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to needy people.

Sabbagh said the Damascus government stands committed to providing humanitarian assistance to Syrians to mitigate the adverse consequences of the country's war on terrorism.

Syria welcomes assistance from the United Nations as well as local and international institutions, Sabbagh added.

On Friday, the UN Security Council extended a cross-border aid operation into Syria from Turkey. The council first authorized a cross-border aid operation into Syria in 2014 at four points.

Last year, it whittled that down to one point from Turkey into a militant-held area in northern Syria due to Russian and Chinese opposition over renewing all four.

Russia has said the aid operation is outdated and violates Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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