WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Representatives Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), ranking member and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today released the following statement in support of diplomatic negotiations at the United Nations (UN) to maintain the two current cross-border humanitarian operations and restore the Ya’rubiyah border crossing between Iraq and northeast Syria. The members previously sent a letter to the administration calling for intensified diplomatic efforts at the UN following Russia and China’s veto of an earlier resolution that would have authorized all three crossings.
“It is vital that the UN renew two humanitarian crossings in northwest Syria and restore the humanitarian crossing in northeast Syria. The past six months have demonstrated, with catastrophic results, that the Assad regime is unwilling to facilitate life-saving assistance outside of regime-controlled areas. Russian and Chinese efforts to block these humanitarian crossings represent a cruel and inhumane attempt to prop-up the Assad regime at the expense of the Syrian people. The UN has a responsibility to the Syrian people to ensure that assistance, including medical assistance to treat COVID-19, can be provided by permitting all three crossings.”