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  Politics
Kuwait''s hosting conf. for Syria emanates from moralistic responsibility --
11/01/2014 | LOC09:31
06:31 GMT
| Kuwait News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
United Nations Ambasaador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi
United Nations Ambasaador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi

ambassador By Salwa Jandoubi (with photo) NEW YORK, Jan 11 (KUNA) -- The State of Kuwait Permanent Delegate at the United Nations Ambasaador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi has expressed hope the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria due, in Kuwait on January 15, would result in raising sufficient funds to aid the brotherly Syrian people.
In an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Ambassador Al-Otaibi said His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's consent to host the conference "emanates from Kuwait's sense of humane and moralistic responsibility that certainly warrants standing on side of the brotherly Syrian people in these hard circumstances." Choosing Kuwait as venue for the international conference constitutes recognition of its balanced policies toward crises in some regional countries and signals appreciation of its role for resolving these crises, he said.
Moreover, Kuwait's hosting of the convention "reflects the distinctive relationship bonding Kuwait with the United Nations and its cooperation with its organizations and specialized agencies, particularly in the humanitarian and development realms," Ambassador Al-Otaibi added.
With respect of the fund to be donated by Kuwait for the Syrians, Ambassador Al-Otaibi said His Highness the Amir would declare it during the conference.
Kuwait had donated USD 300 million during the First International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, held in the Gulf State last January, the senior Kuwaiti diplomat said, explaining that it allocated USD 275 million to the UN agencies and USD 25 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

 Ambassador Al-Otaibi expressed regret that reasons that had prompted the UN to hold the first donors conference still existed, adding that Syrian refugees' conditions in and outside Syria, currently, worsened, with their number swelling from 600,000 to 2.2 million.
Re-emphasizing that humanitarian conditions in Syria, now as compared to earlier phases of the crisis, have dramatically deteriorated, Ambassador Al-Otaibi said the number of relocated Syrians reached six million.
Acts of violence and fighting between the opposition and regime forces have continued. Some opposition parties are locked in infighting among themselves and living conditions have deteriorated, he said, noting that the international community must take necessary steps to rally humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees.
Turning to the first Kuwait-hosted convention for Syria, Ambassador Al-Otaibi said it successful by all standards, for the donations exceeded the forecasts, adding that the aid that actually reached the Syrian people, via bilateral channels, international organizations and the UN agencies was higher by 70 percent as compared to the proclaimed assistance. "Such a proportion is a success, for the UN rarely receives all the declared donations, due to lengthy and complex bureaucratic measures with respect of donations' payment pledged by the countries." Shedding further light on the issue, the top Kuwaiti diplomat at the UN said the international organization set USD 5.6 billion as the sum needed to aid the Syrians this year. However, the financial assistance to be sought at the second conference would, probably, be half of the aspired fund.
Nevertheless, Al-Otaibi expressed hope Arab and non-Arab countries "would generously contribute to the donations due to the enormity of the crisis and scope of the plight and humanitarian needs in Syria and neighboring countries.
"The Syrian people, undoubtedly, depend more on the Arab brothers, than the other nations."

 Kuwait has wished that the problem in Syria will be resolved, that all violent acts will cease and that there shall be no need for holding a second donors' conference, however, the tragedy has regretfully persisted and this warrants that Kuwait, as a regional country close to the scene of the tragedy, "shoulder the responsibility to offer possible assistance to the Syrian people." At the political level, he expressed hope the Geneva-II conference would result in laying a framework for political solution to the Syrian crisis, on basis of agreements that had been reached at the Geneva-I conference, "for the Syrian question must be resolved with political and diplomatic means," he said, stressing this is the sole path to tackle the crisis "which we hope it would end as soon as possible." Geneva-II conference, he said, "is the hope for reaching a political solution, and there is no other option other than that. Kuwait supports it and will take part in it," Al-Otaibi added, acknowledging that certain snags exist on the path toward a settlement, namely lack of an agreement among the opposition parties with respect of representation at the conciliation gathering.
There is strong desire on part of the United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon and the Arab League-UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, to hold the conference and launch the political process to resolve the strife. Also in this vein, Al-Otaibi hoped that the two parties would agree on forming an interim government with full jurisdictions to pave way for a broader and viable accord.
Regarding Ban's forecast visit to Kuwait to chair the international conference, due on Wednesday, Al-Otaibi noted that it would be his fifth visit to the Gulf country in a few years, adding that he would hold talks with Kuwaiti officials during the visit, addressing means to cement the "special relationship" between Kuwait and the UN.
"We are quite satisfied at the level of these relations and we believe that Kuwait has taken major strides in support of the United Nations and that these ties have been elevated to very high levels with respect of direct cooperation and coordination, namely in support of its activities and hiking voluntary humanitarian assistance as well as hosting UN offices and political missions," he said.
Leaders of Kuwait, being among the pioneering states that support the UN activities, are keen on such backing for the international organization, particularly at level of safeguarding international peace and security.
In conclusion, Ambassador Al-Otaibi noted in this regard the UN role in the 1991 liberation of Kuwait, closure of many files related to the ties with Iraq and its help in tackling some strains that had existed in the ties with Baghdad. (end) sj.rk KUNA 111101 Jan 14NNNN

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