Iran, UNOCHA sign agreement for relief operation in Middle East
Press TV -(Sun Sep 15, 2013) Iran and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) have signed an agreement on providing humanitarian assistance in the Middle East.
“We are ready for effective and extended cooperation with the United Nations to [provide] humanitarian assistance to the people of the region and believe that Iran has great potential in this regard” Iran Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday.
The agreement came after a meeting with UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos who is on her first visit to Tehran.
Araqchi added that talks were aimed at bolstering bilateral cooperation to help regional countries as the Middle East is faced with numerous natural disasters ranging from floods to earthquakes.
“There are many crises caused by political developments [in the Middle East], like what we are witnessing in Iraq, Afghanistan and currently in Syria,” the Iranian official pointed out.
According to the agreement, Iran and UNOCHA will establish “strategic talks and long-term cooperation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Amos told reporters later on Sunday that she had asked Tehran to use its influence with Syria to allow greater relief access to the crisis-hit country.
“I did not specify areas because it is important that humanitarian organizations are allowed to go where people are in the greatest need,” she added.