- Title: U.N.'s De Mistura calls for halt to Syria bombing, as Ban visits Geneva HQ
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (OCTOBER 3, 2016) (REUTERS) UNITED NATIONS BUILDING CAMERAMAN FILMING / U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL, BAN KI-MOON, ARRIVING AT GENEVA U.N. HEADQUARTERS MEDIA BAN WALKING SECURITY (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY ON SYRIA, STAFFAN DE MISTURA, SAYING: "There are meetings taking place as you probably know. There are some meetings at the very time now. But the humanitarian aspect now is definitely the priority. We must get some people evacuated, we must get some aid in. But that can be done only if the bombing stops." VARIOUS OF DE MISTURA STANDING BAN PLANTING SECOND-GENERATION HIBAKUSHA TREE, A SAPLING THAT GREW FROM A MOTHER TREE THAT SURVIVED THE 1945 HIROSHIMA ATOMIC BOMBING (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY ON SYRIA, STAFFAN DE MISTURA, SAYING: "Outrage, and request for stopping to do that. It's contrary to any humanitarian law, any." SECURITY (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY ON SYRIA, STAFFAN DE MISTURA, SAYING: "It's a matter of determination. Are we going to give up on the Syrians? Are we going to give up on 350,000 people? Never. So, the issue is not being optimistic or pessimistic, but not giving up on those people." U.N. BUILDING
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 10:42
- Keywords: Syria Ban Ki-moon Staffan de Mistura United Nations
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: United Nations
- Reuters ID: LVA00152GAHQF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:U.N. Special Envoy on Syria Staffan De Mistura urged for a halt to bombing in Syria on Monday (October 3) as Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon paid visit to the organisation's Geneva headquarters.
Syrian government and allied forces have advanced towards Aleppo, pursuing their week-old offensive to take the rebel-held part of the city after dozens of overnight air strikes.
Syrian forces supported by Iranian-backed militias and Russian air power began their push to take the whole of the divided city after a ceasefire collapsed last month.
Meetings are taking place between Russian and U.S. sides, De Mistura said, adding the humanitarian aspect is the priority.
International attempts to establish ceasefires to allow in United Nations humanitarian aid have failed, although other aid groups have brought in limited supplies.
"We must get some people evacuated, we must get some aid in. But that can be done only if the bombing stops," he said.
The relentless Russian and Syrian air campaign has badly damaged hospitals and water supplies, including M10, the city's main trauma hospital in eastern Aleppo which on Saturday (October 1) was badly damaged by air strikes and had to close. Two patients were killed.
De Mistura expressed his outrage at the bombing of the hospital and said it was contrary to humanitarian law, adding he was determined not to give up on Syrians.
"Are we going to give up on the Syrians? Are we going to give up on 350,000 people? Never. So, the issue is not being optimistic or pessimistic, but not giving up on those people," he said.
Ban, whose term as secretary-general is nearing its end, planted a second-generation Hibakusha tree during his visit, a sapling that grew from a mother tree that survived the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bombing.
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