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Kuwait calls for int’l stand against oppression in Syria and elsewhere

BRUSSELS: Kuwait called on Tuesday on the international community to take a firm stand against oppression and human suffering in Syria and other parts of the world. This came in the Sixth Brussels conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region”, in which the Kuwaiti Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Majdi Al-Dhafiri gave his speech. “Kuwait will continue its humanitarian role in cooperation with the international community to face different types of world crises, and it has been supporting the Syrian crisis since Kuwait’s first conference to support the humanitarian situation in Syria in 2013 as it pledged $1.9 billion to help alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people,” said Dhafiri. “On this occasion, we renew our call for a stronger and a firmer stand against the human suffering of the Syrian people, and to take more serious actions against the violations of the international laws and end these conflicts,” he added. “I would like to thank the European Union for their invitation, especially in these circumstances, where the Syrian crisis” that has lasted for more than a decade, amid the same suffering and hardships, he said, indicating that the holding of the convention reflected the international community’s awareness of the significance of this tragedy.

Generous donations

European Union High Representative Josep Borrell Tuesday opened the sixth Brussels conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” with an appeal on donors for more generous pledges for the Syrian people. “Today our first and essential task is to ensure that pledges of humanitarian assistance remain at least at the level of last year,” he said. Borrell said that the needs remain enormous even if Syria is not on the front pages of the media around the world and noted that 90 percent of Syrians live under poverty as he called on the donors “to be generous” in their financial commitments.

An amount of 5.3 billion euro ($5.6 billion) was pledged at the fifth Brussels conference on Syria for the year 2021 and beyond. The EU foreign policy chief said that there is a fatigue after 12 years of the Syrian conflict and the world public opinion does not seem to deal with more than one crisis at the time, noting that now the Ukraine conflict is on the headlines. “Don’t give up on Syria,” he urged. Borrell stressed that the EU will not relax its sanctions on the Assad regime and will not recognize it until people feel safe to return home.

Palestinian refugees

Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini told journalists ahead of the meeting that there are still nearly 440,000 Palestinian refugees who entirely depend on UNRWA when it comes to education, health and cash, all these people are in average living with less than $2.00 a day. He said he would call on today’s conference first to make sure that any humanitarian response Palestinian refugees are also taken into consideration. “Clearly today, this crisis is entirely underfunded and is also overshadowed by other conflict and it is time to make sure that the Syrian, Palestinian refugees, do not become the new forgotten conflict,” said the UNRWA chief.

On Monday, a Day of Dialogue was held to provide an opportunity for civil society organizations in the region to interact with EU and UN officials. The overarching objective of the Brussels VI Conference is to ensure continued attention and support for the Syrian people in Syria and the region, despite Russia unleashing an illegal and devastating conflict in EU’s immediate neighborhood, and to maintain the mobilization of the international community in support of a political solution to the Syria crisis, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, said an EU statement. – KUNA

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