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India:Militarisation of Syria conflict would worsen crisis

United Nations: India has asked the international community to send a united message to the Syrian parties to give up their military approach, emphasising that further militarisation of the conflict will make a political solution more difficult and worsen the humanitarian crisis.

Condemning the violence and violations of human rights, India said it is "unfortunate" that neither side to the Syrian conflict has implemented its obligations under former international envoy Kofi Annan`s six-point peace plan, which was endorsed by the Security Council.

"Under the prevailing circumstances in Syria, there is an urgent need for the international community to close its ranks and send a united message to the Syrian parties to walk back from their military approach and resolve the crisis through an inclusive Syrian-led political process." Charge d`Affaires in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN Vinay Kumar said at a Security Council briefing on Syria yesterday.

"There is no other way to bring about a sustained cessation of violence in all its forms by all parties,"

Kumar said any further militarisation of the Syrian conflict would not only make a political solution more difficult to reach but also exacerbate the humanitarian crisis.

"Any militarisation of the humanitarian situation will worsen the security situation as well as humanitarian conditions for millions of Syrians, and must, therefore, be avoided," he added.

"Unfortunately, the Syrian parties, instead of seriously commencing a Syrian-led political process, have pursued a military approach to realise their objectives," he said.

Since the beginning of the crisis last year in March, the situation in Syria has been steadily deteriorating with nearly 17,000 people killed in the violence.

More than 2.5 million people are in the need of humanitarian assistance, while more than a million are internally displaced and more than 200,000 are refugees.

With the conflict getting increasingly militarised, the situation has been exploited by well-known terrorist groups, Kumar said.

India expressed concern over the terrorist acts that have been committed against state institutions and public infrastructure.

Continuing military operations by all sides have prevented timely and adequate delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need, Kumar said adding that efforts of the international community have so far failed to address the crisis, which is increasingly affecting the region as a whole.

"We strongly condemn all violence and violations of human rights irrespective of who their perpetrators are. We also condemn in the strongest terms possible the terrorist acts that have been and continue to be committed in Syria," Kumar said.

India called upon all parties, both Syrian and foreign, to dissociate themselves from terrorist groups and ensure that no space or justification is provided for terrorist acts.

Kumar said India firmly believes it is critical for the UN to remain strongly engaged with the Syrian parties and other actors in the search for a way forward.

"Unilateral action of any kind will not resolve the crisis. It will only exacerbate the problem and cause greater instability and violence even beyond Syria`s borders," Kumar said.

While the international community should assist the Syrian parties, it is upto the people of Syria to decide on their leadership through a democratic process.

India welcomed the appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi as the new Joint Special Representative for Syria and urged all sides to cooperate with him with an aim to resolve the Syrian crisis without any further bloodshed.

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