France calls on Syrian regime to end siege on Madaya ahead of talks

Published January 11th, 2016 - 01:00 GMT
Aid convoys carrying food, medicine and blankets, leave the Syrian capital Damascus as they head to the besieged town of Madaya on January 11, 2015. (AFP/Louai Beshara)
Aid convoys carrying food, medicine and blankets, leave the Syrian capital Damascus as they head to the besieged town of Madaya on January 11, 2015. (AFP/Louai Beshara)

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stated Monday that government and Russia forces must end the siege on the Syrian city of Madaya ahead of the upcoming peace talks scheduled for January 25, Reuters reports. 

"We discussed the absolute necessity that Syria and Russia end their military operations against civilians and in particular the ordeal in Madaya and other cities besieged by the regime," Laurent Fabius told reporters after meeting Syrian opposition coordinator Riad Hijab.

Madaya has been besieged since 2012 after it was first taken by Syrian rebel forces. Since then, residents have been cut off from food aid and other essential services. 

Inflation has made it nearly impossible for the average Madaya resident to purchase food. Sources say a kilogram of rice now costs around $115 now.

According to reports, around 70 people have died of starvation and another 50 have passed away of various diseases in the past six months. 


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