The World Health Organization (WHO) note seen by members of the UN Security Council said that aid organizations working with the United Nations want the Security Council to allow urgent use of al-Ya’rubiyah (Tel Koçer) crossing between the Iraqi and Syrian borders to deliver supplies to help in combating the coronavirus.
However, an updated version of the memo, dated Tuesday, omitted global health in which it made a direct appeal to reopen al-Ya’rubiyah (Tel Koçer)
The move raises the possibility of fueling criticism by US President Donald Trump of the United Nations organization that it allows itself to be influenced by some countries.
Trump had earlier this month stopped US funding to the Geneva-based World Health Organization, while Washington was reviewing the organization’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, accusing the organization of focusing too much on China, and the WHO denies this.
“The WHO must stand steadfast and not yield to put pressure from major powers, it is about saving lives, not avoiding criticism,” said Louis Charbonneau, director of UN affairs for Human Rights Watch, regarding the changes to the memo.
He added, “The Security Council should immediately renew the mandate to use al-Ya’rubiyah (Tel Koçer) crossing.”
During a meeting of the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria on Wednesday, a number of members called on the council to help strengthen aid cross-border transfers to Syria.
Kelly Kraft, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said that all options, including the use of al-Ya’rubiyah (Tel Koçer) crossing, should be discussed.
Russia does not want to open al-Ya’rubiyah crossing
But Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, said, “We strongly urge our colleagues not to waste their time looking for a way to defend, explicitly or implicitly, the return to the use of al-Ya’rubiyah.
The updated WHO note said the real impact of the coronavirus in Syria could be “truly catastrophic”.
Syria announced the registration of 43 new cases of the coronavirus and three deaths, and the Health Body of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria announced on Wednesday the registration of the first two cases of coronavirus in its regions.