UNITED NATIONS, United States, Feb 7, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - War-torn Syria said Monday that aid sent after the earthquake will reach all its population, even though Damascus does not control all of its territory.
The 7.8-magnitude quake hit Turkey and Syria on Monday, killing thousands of people.
Asked if aid donated to Syria -- some areas are held by rebels -- would reach all of the population, Syria's UN envoy Bassam Sabbagh said it would.
"We assure the UN that we are ready to help and to coordinate to provide assistance to all Syrians in all territory of Syria," Sabbagh said after meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to convey a Syrian government request for aid.
"We are ready to help also those who wanted to provide the help in all Syria," he stressed.
Today humanitarian aid in rebel-held areas usually arrives through Turkey, thanks to a cross-border mechanism created in 2014 by a UN Security Council resolution.
But this mechanism is contested by Damascus and its ally Moscow, who call the system a violation of Syrian sovereignty.
Under pressure from Russia and China, the number of crossing points has been reduced over time from four to one.
Asked about the possible opening of new crossing points to deal with the aftermath of the earthquake, the Syrian ambassador seemed to reject the idea on Monday.
"I said we are ready to work with all who wanted to provide Syrians from inside Syria," he said in English.
"So access from inside Syria are there. So if anyone would like to help Syria, they can coordinate with the government and we will be ready to do so."