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Civil war Swiss call to step up humanitarian help for Syria

People are fleeing eastern Aleppo

People are fleeing eastern Aleppo

(Reuters)

Switzerland has called on all sides involved in the Syrian conflict to respect human rights and international law. Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said that only a political solution will pave the way for long-lasting peace, whilst stopping the suffering of the Syrian people.

The foreign ministry described the situation in Aleppo as “catastrophic”. It added that there are particularly alarming reports from the United Nations of extrajudicial executions and cases of missing civilians where violence is suspected.

Given the current situation, it is essential that humanitarian aid is quickly sent to people in difficult-to-reach and under-siege areas, the ministry said.

To ensure a long-term peaceful situation, Burkhalter said that it had to be guaranteed that “all victims of human rights violations will receive justice, whether through Syrian or international courts”.

Switzerland will raise its level of humanitarian help in the region, Burkhalter went on to say. “Alongside emergency aid Switzerland will also increase its long-term support for all countries in the area that are taking in refugees.”

On Tuesday, Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), told Swiss Public Radio, SRF, that the humanitarian aid situation is “bad, if not terrible”, and that international laws on war are not being properly respected. “Syria is an outrageous example of that – one of many.”

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Translated by Jo Fahy, swissinfo.ch and agencies

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