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Army starts facilitating relief aid to displaced Syrians


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat said on Saturday that the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army had begun to send convoys of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people affected by the situation inside Syria, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Ghunaimat explained that this step comes in line with Jordan’s stand to support the Syrian brothers, strengthen their ability to endure difficult humanitarian conditions and enable them to bear the suffering caused by a new military offensive against their territories.
She also stressed the need for the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards the situation in the south of Syria, to scale up its efforts to help the Syrian people and to find a political solution that guarantees the restoration of security and stability in Syria.
She called on international relief organisations and the international community to send humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people inside Syria.
On Friday, Ghunaimat  said that demanding Jordan open its borders to new Syrian refugees is something the Kingdom cannot respond to. She added that Jordan fully understands the difficult humanitarian situation in southern Syria and is aware of the extent of suffering, pain and danger afflicting Syrians.
She said that Jordan welcomes any agreement to bring calm and protect the lives of civilians, especially women and children, pointing out non-stop efforts with all parties to halt military escalation, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Ghunaimat reiterated that Jordan welcomes any solution that would stop the bloodshed and displacement of more Syrian civilians.
The minister said that Jordan calls on world powers, the international community and relief organisations to play their role in assisting and to protecting Syrians and to provide a formula that protects both them and the interests of Jordan.
“Jordan hopes that the United Nations will take practical steps to help displaced people and provide them with their living needs, especially in the provision of water, food and medical supplies,” she added.
She emphasised that Jordan’s efforts are ongoing with all parties to call for a cessation of violence in southern Syria, pointing out that the Kingdom is ready to help the Syrian people.
Ghunaimat said she was surprised that some parties blame the human tragedy suffered by the brothers in Syria on the Kingdom, noting that the decision to stop the violence and killing is  necessary and that everyone should be moving in this direction.
The minister added that the Kingdom, with its limited resources and a suffocating economic crisis, cannot withstand the burden of additional Syrian refugees, but said the country is fully prepared to cooperate with the United Nations to play its role without opening the border.
As part of Jordan’s diplomatic efforts to address the situation, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi stressed on Friday that Jordan is following up on efforts to achieve a ceasefire in southern Syria, in order to protect the Syrian people and provide them with aid inside their country, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
During a meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres in New York, Safadi underscored the importance of the international community’s obligation to uphold its humanitarian responsibilities towards the Syrian people.
Safadi noted that Jordan would continue providing “all possible assistance to the brotherly Syrian people”.
Guterres voiced appreciation for Jordan’s humanitarian role towards the Syrian refugees.
The foreign minister and the UN chief also discussed developments related to the Palestinian issue.
The minister reiterated the Kingdom’s “constant stance that the end of Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital will guarantee a comprehensive and lasting peace”, Petra said. 
Addressing the economic crisis that faces the UNRWA, both officials stressed the need to provide support for the UN relief agency and to ensure it is able to continue performing its duties.
Following the meeting, Safadi told the press that Jordan is a party to the three-way de-escalation zone agreement in southern Syria, which was created following a deal with the US and Russia last year.
“The Kingdom has exerted great efforts to maintain the ceasefire; however, things have developed in an unfavourable way and now we have no choice but to continue working with all parties to break in-fighting, protect civilians and deliver aid to them inside Syria,” the minister said, as quoted by Petra.
Safadi said that Jordanian-Russian communications have not stopped leading up to his meeting with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, slated for July 4. He added that the current objective is to achieve a ceasefire, preserve the coherence of Syria and seek a political solution, since military solutions would never bring about peace. 
On Jordan’s decision to not open the border for refugees, the diplomat said that Jordan already has 1.3 million Syrian refugees and has reached its maximum capacity. He added that the UN is able to work within Syria to help the Syrian people.
Jordan is communicating with all players and will accept any solution to which the Syrians agree, as it is their country and their own issue, he said. 

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