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UN humanitarian boss wants to visit Syria

23 February 2012, 10:46

Syria - UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is to ask the Syrian government for permission to visit to assess the growing crisis in the country, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has told Amos to go to Syria "to assess the humanitarian situation and renew the call for urgent humanitarian access," UN deputy spokesperson Eduardo del Buey told reporters.

No date has yet been set for a visit and officials were not able to say whether Amos had the green light from President Bashar Assad's government to go there. But the spokesperson added: "It is a humanitarian mission, we expect the Syrian government will respond positively."

Amos would be the most senior UN official to go to Syria if the visit goes ahead.

At least 7 600 people have been killed in 11 months of protests against Assad, according to Syrian rights groups, and the United Nations has highlighted fast deteriorating conditions for the civilian population.


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