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S. Africa urges neutrality over humanitarian aid to Venezuela

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UNITED NATIONS, April 10 (Xinhua) -- A senior South Africa official urged on Tuesday all parties to respect the need for impartiality, neutrality and independence while providing humanitarian assistance to Venezuela.

Speaking at the United Nations (UN) Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, Jerry Matjila, South Africa's permanent representative to the UN, said it is "important that the effective and unhindered provision of humanitarian assistance takes place in coordination and cooperation with the Venezuelan government."

The political situation and continued economic difficulties in Venezuela are "a result of a myriad of factors," and require a constructive and united approach by the Security Council, Matjila said.

The South African diplomat said it is necessary to acknowledge and work with established structures in Venezuela, so as not to create parallel structures that may also cause tensions.

The provision of humanitarian assistance should be based on an adequate and accurate assessment of the situation, and steer away from any chance of "humanitarian intervention as a pretext for further increased tensions and possible military entanglements," he said.

South Africa calls on the international community to support the channeling of humanitarian assistance through the UN and its implementing partners as well as through other recognized international organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Matjila said.

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