An emergency meeting of foreign ministers of the UN Security Council member-countries is set to discuss the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria as President Bashar al-Assad rejects the idea of buffer zones in an interview.
The deeply divided 15-member council, however, has failed to take action over the Syria’s 18-month conflict which has left 2.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and more than 200,000 refugees as Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions on Syria since the beginning of the uprising against Assad’s rule.
The meeting will also be attended by ministers from Syria’s neighbours: Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. However, less than half the council members are sending ministers, and of the permanent members – the US, China, Russia, Britain and France – only the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, and his British counterpart, William Hague, will attend, according to Reuters.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who will chair the UN session as France heads the Council in August, said Wednesday the issue of buffer zones would be brought up, even if “it is very complicated.”
“Talk of buffer zones firstly is not on the table and secondly it is an unrealistic idea by hostile countries and the enemies of Syria,” said Assad, speaking Wednesday in interview with pro-government Adounnia TV channel.
Mr. Assad’s comments, made in an interview with pro-government Adounnia TV, come amid a renewed interest in the international community in creating a “buffer zone” inside Syria.
Turkey has also floated the idea of creating buffer zones within Syria to protect the displaced Syrians in the country.
The interview with Addounia TV was the second time Assad has made a public appearance on television this month after a six-week absence in the wake of the July bombing that killed some of his top regime members.