Tehran, Damascus deputy FMs discuss ways to expand aid access in Syria with Swiss officials

Published February 4th, 2014 - 07:39 GMT

Agence France Presse reported Tuesday that Syrian, Iranian and Swiss officials met in Tehran to discuss improving aid access to the victims of Syria's civil war.

According to Manuel Bessler, a delegate to the meetings representing the Swiss Federal Council of Humanitarian Aid, the three countries discussed "establishing more favorable conditions for humanitarian action [in Syria]."

The talks, which included Bessler, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Syrian deputy FM Hussameddin Ala, focused on issues such as securing access to Syrian war zones, obtaining visas for humanitarian workers, the number of NGOs permitted to work in Syria and ways of getting aid to those in need, according to the AFP report.

Tuesday's meeting represents the third time that the three countries have met, with their next meeting scheduled for March. However, no date yet has been set for next month's talks.

Tehran has been a staunch supporter of the Syrian regime throughout the civil war that began in 2011.

Over 11 million Syrians are dependent on humanitarian aid, according to Bessler, and of that number approximately 245,000 living under siege have limited-if any-access to food.

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