- Associated Press - Monday, July 16, 2012

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. humanitarian office’s operations director on Monday said the Syrian president’s regime has refused entrance visas to aid workers from Britain, Canada, France and the United States.

John Ging, the U.N. official, said “tremendous political obstruction” by President Bashar Assad’s government has hindered the aid efforts by the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations.

He told reporters Monday in Geneva that his agency, however, enjoys “a positive engagement” with Mr. Assad’s government, with which a written deal “is being implemented” to allow aid workers and supplies to enter four hard-hit provinces.

Radhouane Nouicer, the U.N.’s regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, said much of the help for the four provinces — Daraa, Deir el-Zour, Homs and Idlib — is held up by visa delays and other bureaucratic hurdles.