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Amos: Aid to Syrian Civilians Should Not Be Politicized

U.N. emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos says getting aid to desperate civilians in Syria should not be matter of controversy or politics.

Amos briefed the Security Council Thursday on what she says is modest progress in getting help to civilians This includes evacuating more than 1,400 people from the city of Homs.

A brief "humanitarian pause" last week gave women, children, and old men a chance to get out.

Amos said the Homs agreement shows what can be done. But she said it cannot be a model because aid workers came under fire.

The Security Council is considering a draft resolution that, among other actions, condemns attacks on aid workers and expresses "grave alarm" over civilians it says are trapped by Syrian forces.

Russia, Syria's main ally, is threatening a veto, calling it too one-sided against the Syrian government.

Amos told reporters that a council resolution would be helpful, but one that does not lead to action on the ground would be almost useless.

She said both sides in Syria's civil war are breaking international law by failing to protect civilians. Amos said three-million Syrians are stuck in hard to reach places and that their lives are hanging in the balance.

Earlier Thursday, international peace mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said Russia and the United States are promising to help break the deadlock in the Syrian peace talks.

Brahimi said with failure staring him in the face, Moscow and Washington have both kindly reaffirmed their support and promise to help unblock the peace process. He said until now, no one has made much progress.

Brahimi met in Geneva Thursday with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov and U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman.

The talks are now in their second round in Geneva. Brahimi has been meeting with representatives from the Syrian government and its opposition. He said he will leave no stone unturned if there's a possibility of moving forward.

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