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Czech MPs bring humanitarian aid to Syria

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Prague, Dec 12 (CTK) – Members of the Czech Chamber of Deputies’ petition committee arrived in Syria with another supply of humanitarian aid worth 1.5 million crowns on Monday and they will meet Syrian MPs and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem this week, the Foreign Ministry has told CTK.

Deputies of the right-wing opposition recently protested against this trip saying such official meetings would legitimise the regime of Syrian President Bashir Assad.

“Along with the humanitarian aid supply, deputies from the petition committee of the lower house of the Czech parliament will discuss the situation in the region and the ways of securing the access of humanitarian aid to all areas in Syria in harmony with the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and on bilateral relations between the Czech Republic and Syria,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The four MPs, Zuzka Bebarova Rujbrova (Communists, KSCM), Ivana Dobesova (ANO), Radim Holecek (Civic Democrats, ODS) and Leo Luzar (KSCM), will talk to members of the Syrian parliament, Muallem as well as Local Administration Minister Hussein Makhluf whose office coordinates humanitarian aid.

The MPs will also meet representatives of humanitarian organisations and visit the centres for the internally displaced persons and the Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Damascus.

The fighting between the Syrian military, Islamic State and anti-regime forces have claimed thousands of civilian lives during the chaotic, lengthy war in Syria. The U.N. has reported that Assad’s military and Islamists used chemical weapons.

The world powers are not united on which side of the conflict to support. While Russia sides with Assad, the United States supports the moderate opposition.

The situation has been extremely critical in the town of Aleppo (Halab) in the past few months.

The Czech Republic is the only country to have an embassy on the Syrian territory. Its embassy also represents U.S. diplomacy there.

Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said in mid-November that the Czech Republic would like to preserve the embassy since it worked well both in the humanitarian area and in assisting to other countries.

Zaoralek dismissed the objection that the existence of the Czech embassy would strengthen the legitimacy of Assad’s regime.

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