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Western Officials Ask Russia to Put More Pressure On Damascus

Western officials are seeking concessions on the delivery of humanitarian aid
Western Officials Ask Russia to Put More Pressure On Damascus

Western diplomatic sources have told al-Hayat that some western countries have asked the Russians to put more pressure on the Syrian government's delegation to make "concessions" in the ongoing negotiations with the opposition at Geneva.


The concessions are related to the delivery of humanitarian aid and to the formation of the transitional governing body as was stated in Geneva I declaration.


The sources said that an official at the Russian foreign ministry returned to Geneva two days ago and that a western official has secretly visited Moscow. A meeting between the Russian and American foreign ministers was held on the sidelines of the security conference held in Munich, Germany hours later. The meeting was aimed at preparations for the summit between the American President Barak Obama and his counterpart Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi next month.


The sources said it was expected that Britain, America and France will try to issue an international resolution related to providing safe corridors for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged areas in Syria, however Moscow has previously blocked such a resolution.


A U.S. official told al-Hayat that there are efforts to reach acceptable results on the humanitarian front to "provide aid to the besieged areas, release the detainees and reach a ceasefire between the two parties". The official said that it is regime's responsibility to facilitate the delivery of aid to 9.3 million people "in desperate need for humanitarian aid".


The official said the regime's request from the opposition to "leave some areas or give up rebel weapons in order to be able to receive humanitarian aid is an unacceptable offer. It is impossible to oblige the besieged communities to surrender to the regime in exchange for humanitarian aid".


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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