I welcome the arrival of a new group of more than 170 civilians that have been evacuated from the Azovstal steelworks and other areas of Mariupol in a safe passage operation successfully coordinated by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
This group of evacuees arrived safely in Zaporizhzhia today, 8 May. My thoughts are with them and all the people in Ukraine who are suffering in this war.
I thank all those involved in this complex operation, including the leaders in Kyiv and Moscow for ensuring the necessary humanitarian pauses. I applaud the determination and courage of the UN and ICRC teams on the ground.
This latest safe passage operation brings to over 600 the number of civilians who have been safely evacuated from the Azovstal steelworks and other areas of Mariupol.
I urge the parties to the conflict to spare no effort to secure safe passage for all those wishing to leave, in any direction they choose, and for aid to reach people in need.