New York [US], March 3 (ANI): Expressing grave concern over the presence of 11,000 ISIL terrorists (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) in Syria, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of India's Mission to UN, Nagaraj Naidu on Tuesday said that involvement of external actors has given a fillip to the growth of terrorism in Syria.
"The involvement of external actors in Syria has given a fillip to the growth of terrorism in Syria and in the region. The presence of 11,000 ISIL fighters in the North East and reports of radicalization, training, and incitement in camps housing ISIL fighters in Syria is a matter of serious concern. It is imperative that all parties must adhere to their international obligations to fight terrorism and terrorist organizations in Syria," urged Naidu.
Naidu was speaking at the UN General Assembly High-level panel discussion to brief on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic.
"The 10-year long Syrian conflict has brought about much suffering to the Syrian people. The country is facing a dire situation compounded by COVID-19, winters and food insecurity which is putting into peril the future of 17 million Syrians, including 6.2 million displaced people," said the envoy.
He also highlighted the report of the Independent International Commission of Enquiry that underlined the human rights violations perpetrated by the parties to the conflict, which pointed to the internationalisation of the conflict due to the involvement of influential states.
"The conflict in Syria is primarily political in nature. The fact that the conflict has been so protracted and intractable, points to the inevitability of a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process, preserving the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, in line with Council Resolution 2254 and culminating in constitutional reform and free and fair elections," said Naidu.
Resolution 2254 was adopted on December 18, 2015. It calls for a ceasefire and political settlement in Syria.
"We call on all parties to the conflict to show political will and statesmanship to break the current impasse on the political track," added the Ambassador.
Talking on the plight of the Syrians, Naidu said, "The scale, severity and complexity of humanitarian needs should provoke the collective conscience of the international community, particularly those who advocate linking of humanitarian and developmental assistance to expected outcomes on the political track."
"We appeal for an assessment of sanctions measures imposed by countries on Syria since they considerably aggravate the current situation faced by the people, especially women, children, and the elderly. The protection of civilian life is paramount, and the blatant disregard for civilian safety runs contrary to the obligations that all parties must uphold under international humanitarian law and international human rights law," he added.
Talking about the Indian humanitarian assistance to Syria, the Deputy Permanent Representative said, "India continues to stand with the people of Syria in this grave hour of need. We have extended 12 million dollars in humanitarian assistance through bilateral and multilateral channels. Last July, more than 10 MT of medical supplies have been delivered to help Syria cope with the pandemic. Earlier this month, more than 2000 MT (metric tons) of food supplies were delivered. We also stand ready to work with the UN and its agencies to ensure COVID-19 vaccines can be brought to the aid and assistance of the people of Syria."
"Syria's reliable and long-lasting friend, India stands ready to continue to render all possible help and support to the Syrian people," he added. (ANI)