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Mr. President,

I would like to thank Mr. Geir Pedersen and Mrs. Joyce Msuya for their important briefings. We also welcome the participation of Mrs. Joyce for the first time in the Council. In today’s statement, I would like to first address the humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and then turn to political matters.

Regarding the humanitarian situation, it is essential to focus on alleviating the urgent needs of the Syrian people, who bear the brunt of the crisis. As a priority, political positions must be isolated from humanitarian ones. The issue of providing humanitarian aid and relief to the Syrian people should be a matter of consensus, [especially in light of Ms. Joyce comments that 14.6 million people are in need of humanitarian aid]. It is a moral imperative that the Syrian people are not left to face difficult conditions, lacking the most basic services such as water and electricity. In this regard, we underscore that the water crisis is one of the most critical humanitarian challenges facing the Syrian people, especially for those who depend on the Alouk water station and those who reside in the city of Al-Bab. We stress that imposing any restrictions on access to water will have serious humanitarian repercussions.

We also stress the need for the relevant parties in Syria to cooperate to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches all of those who are in need. In this regard, we stress the importance of continued delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria, in accordance with Resolution 2585, and the resumption of cross-line delivery of humanitarian aid over the past few months.

Moving to the political situation, we welcome the agreement of the two parties to convene the seventh session of the Constitutional Committee on 21 March, including on the modalities of the session. Such steps will contribute to building confidence between the parties, in preparation for addressing more complex challenges. As such, we encourage the parties to continue the dialogue to build on these positive developments.

We reiterate here the importance of the active participation of Syrian women in the Constitutional Committee, especially given their pivotal role in the development of the society across all sectors.

Mr. President,

The reality that Syria is an Arab country and that its stability is linked to the stability of the Arab region cannot be ignored. We stress the importance of rejecting foreign interference in Syrian affairs. We also highlight the importance of an increased Arab role, as this approach is the most viable for supporting mediation efforts under the auspices of the United Nations with the aim of resolving the crisis and preserving the security of the region.

To make progress in the political process, action must be taken to address security challenges through de-escalation and a nationwide ceasefire. The fragile security situation in Syria has repercussions extending to neighboring countries, especially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The recent clashes on the Jordanian-Syrian border between the Jordanian armed forces and several groups trying to smuggle drugs into Jordanian territory and neighboring countries resulted in the death and injury of a number of Jordanian border guards. This is unacceptable.

In conclusion, we affirm that a political solution to the Syrian crisis is still possible and requires demonstrating the necessary flexibility while consolidating our efforts to overcome the current obstacles and move from managing the crisis to resolving it in line with Security Council Resolution 2254 to meet the aspirations and basic needs of the Syrian people.

I thank you Madame President.