AFP / Ameer Alhalbi A Syrian family runs for cover amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Al-Qatarji in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on April 29, 2016
AFP / Ameer Alhalbi A Syrian family runs for cover amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Al-Qatarji in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on April 29, 2016

Partially agreeing with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Lavrov acknowledged that “a pause of three hours per day is insufficient.”

AFP / Ameer Alhalbi Syrian civil defence volunteers evacuate a man and children from a residential building following a reported air strike on Aleppo
AFP / Ameer Alhalbi
Syrian civil defence volunteers evacuate a man and children from a residential building following a reported air strike on Aleppo
However, he also told reporters that “for this to be prolonged, it is necessary to resolve issues in the fight against the terrorists.”

“A result of the pause has been a slight improvement of the humanitarian situation,” Lavrov said in comments carried by Russian state news agency TASS. “But the main result has been terrorists replenishing their numbers by 7,000 people, not to mention a large quantity of guns and munitions.”

Steinmeier had called on Russia to lay down its weapons to allow humanitarian aid to reach the embattled city in northern Syria.

“I think the weapons must be silent so that people can be supplied with basic necessities,” Steinmeier said in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city.

“The humanitarian situation in Aleppo is catastrophic. This cannot and must not continue,” Steinmeier said. “Three hours a day is not enough.”

Fighting between Syrian government forces and the rebels first broke out in mid-2012 in Aleppo. After regime forces captured the last rebel supply route into the east last month, the UN warned that food supplies there would last only until mid-August.

Russia, a key ally of the Syrian government, last week announced three-hour humanitarian pauses over three days to allow aid into Aleppo. But the UN said the move was inadequate.

Both Steinmeier and Lavrov acknowledged that diplomatic ties between Germany and Russia were currently strained.

“I am convinced that the relationship will stabilize again sooner or later,” Lavrov said, adding that Germany was a strategically important partner for Russia.

The countries have clashed repeatedly over Russian involvement in Syria and its role in secessionist fighting in eastern Ukraine.

“Russian-German relations are currently going through a difficult period,” Lavrov said.

“I think this is the most difficult period since Germany’s reunification, which occurred with an active and decisive role by our country [the Soviet Union].”

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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