World / Middle East

UN confirms pullout of non-essential international personnel from Syria

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-04 05:11

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations on Monday confirmed its withdrawal of non-essential international personnel from the conflict-ridden Syria due to growing dangers there.

"The Department for Safety and Security had confirmed that the UN in Syria would pull out non-essential international personnel with immediate effect," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said at a daily news briefing here.

The spokesman said that as the situation changes, the UN system assesses its programs of activities accordingly and identifies those personnel needed to carry out those activities.

"The UN would suspend its movements within the country until further notice," Nesirky said.

Nesirky noted that as underlined by the UN secretary-general and the joint special representative of the UN and the Arab League for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, just last week, the situation in Damascus and across the country was becoming more precarious and the violence was escalating.

He also said the United Nations needed to strike a balance between the work that needs to be done for the people of Syria, who have been suffering for such a long time, and the safety of the people who are trying to provide that assistance.

The United Nations has more than 1,000 national and international staff in Syria, where a political crisis and related violence have lasted for some 20 months.

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