No ‘secret directive’ on Syria – UN

The United Nations has said that neither its department of political affairs nor any other UN entity has issued a “secret directive” on Syria. It said that there are internal policies and guidelines “shared within the UN system to ensure support and assistance is provided to those in need in all areas of Syria.” Such guidelines are being issued “in an equitable and non-discriminatory manner with a needs-based approach upholding neutrality and impartiality,” according to the office of the spokesperson for the secretary-general. The UN is continuing “its efforts to advance the political process” in Syria, it said. The statement came after Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the UN Secretariat has “distributed a secret directive throughout the UN system in October last year that prohibited the agencies… from participating in any kind of projects aimed at restoring the Syrian economy” until a “political transition” there.