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Only few remain on Syria border — UN official

By Muath Freij - Jul 09,2018 - Last updated at Jul 09,2018

AMMAN — A very small number of Syrians who fled the clashes in their country’s southwest are still at the Nasib/Jaber crossing, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Anders Pedersen said on Sunday. 

“As we are speaking, just 15 minutes ago, the information that we have from Nasib/Jaber border crossing is that we have… around 150 to 200 people right now at the border, in the free trade zone.” 

“As far as we understand, they are almost exclusively men,” Pedersen told reporters during a press conference held in Amman and attended by UNHCR Representative Jordan Stefano Severe. 

Pedersen described Jordan’s coordination as “extraordinary”. 

“Now, the United Nations have… provided as much as assistance, in very close cooperation with our Jordanian partners, to this population, and let me use this opportunity really to underline the extraordinary coordination and the level of working together the UN had with the authorities in Jordan,” he added. 

He noted that the UN will remain at the Jaber/Nasib border crossing as long as they see a need. 

“We are still getting some few patients into the clinic and they will be treated in very close coordination with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army,” he added. 

The UN official stressed that their focus is now to reach other populations inside the southwest with their convoys. 

“As of today, our biggest headache and our biggest attempt is really to reach any populations in need, and we are very keen to underline that what we are asking for, and what we are advocating for, is unimpeded access to all populations in need throughout the southwest,” he added. 

Pedersen said the situation right now remains very difficult and is of concern, adding: “We keep on repeating the message by the secretary general that we need an immediate cessation of hostilities and a political process to find a solution to the crisis.”

He noted that the United Nations continuously stands ready and is in its highest operational mode. 

“We are ready to go with our convoys. They are literally standing on stand-by at the Ramtha border crossing, loaded already, ready to go as soon as the situation on the other side of the border allows. We keep on repeating our appeal and our plea to the partners to the parts of the conflict on the ground in Syria: Please allow us access. Please consider a ceasefire,” he added.

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