UN, OIC call for all Syrians to respect their neutrality

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and United Nations on Monday called on Syrians to respect the "neutrality" and "safety" of their humanitarian aid mission, according to a joint statement.

The two groups called on "all people and state authorities in Syria to respect the neutrality and impartiality of their personnel" currently in Syria to assess the humanitarian impact of the country's year-long uprising.

The statement urged all parties to respect the "safety and security" of the mission to facilitate the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian assistance after a year of bloodshed.

The UN and OIC mission is "strictly nonpolitical in nature" and seeks to "observe firsthand the overall humanitarian situation and conditions in various towns and cities," the statement added.

The team of technical experts arrived Friday in Syria and plans to visit 15 cities, after which a report on the needs of the Syrian population will be submitted to the Saudi-based Islamic grouping and the United Nations.

According to UN estimates more than 30,000 Syrians have fled to neighboring states and another 200,000 have been displaced within the country by the past 12 months of deadly violence.

Activists say a government crackdown on anti-regime protests across Syria since last March has cost more than 9,100 lives.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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