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Náměstek Martin Tlapa
Photo: Markéta Trnková (©MZV)
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Deputy Minister Tlapa visited Syria


Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Tlapa visited Syria on Oct 9 – 12, 2016. In the course of the visit a shipment of emergency humanitarian aid organized in cooperation with the Czech Red Cross worth 4.5 million CZK was delivered to Syria.

The shipment consisted of dialysis units with special accessories and wheelchairs. The material was financed partly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and partly by the Czech Red Cross. It represented a follow-up to the June aid shipment worth 3 million CZK. It was handed over to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) that roofs the distribution of the humanitarian aid for Czech and other international humanitarian partner organizations, operating on almost two-thirds of Syrian territory.

Czech humanitarian aid is aimed to the government as well as the opposition controlled areas. Additional deliveries of aid are planned for in the forthcoming months.

During the visit Deputy Minister Tlapa conveyed to his Syrian partners, Foreign Minister Waled Muallem and the First Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, the EEAS “lines to take” on Syria. It emphasized the necessity of ensuring humanitarian access to all parts of Syria, including Aleppo as well as the need to resume the ceasefire and renew political talks as soon as possible and importance of implementing the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Deputy Minister Tlapa also introduced to his partners Czech program of humanitarian, development and reconstruction assistance to Syria for the period 2016-2019 with a sum totalling 195 million CZK.

Deputy Minister Tlapa Tlapa also held talks with the Minister of Culture Muhammad al-Ahmadiyah, the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Adib Majjal and the Minister for Local Government Machouf Hussein whose office is a key partner in the implementation of humanitarian projects and the above-mentioned governmental program for Syria.

Czech delegation also visited the city of Tartus and met with the Governor of the Province Safwan Abou Saad and representatives of the local chamber of commerce and museum institutions. They also visited the local centre for internally displaced people and an asylum facility of Hardjalla. An ADRA project co-financed by the Czech Republic is being implemented there. The delegation planted a symbolic tree of friendship. The delegation also met with the representatives of the Greek-Catholic Patriarchate, who organised a humanitarian program for internally displaced paid for by the Czech Republic. Moreover it organized a private collection of toys. At the end of the visit Czech delegation met with representatives of the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Commerce

Since 2012 Czech Republic has spent over 200 million CZK on a humanitarian aid for internally displaced persons within Syria as well as for the Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. At the donor conference for Syria and countries hosting Syrian refugees held this February in London Czech Republic pledged further 170 million CZK to be used this year. It should go into humanitarian aid, support for infrastructure within the region, health care and education. This commitment was not only fulfilled but exceeded as early as of September 2016.