State Department Staffs Hotline To Report Ceasefire Violations In Syria With Non-Arabic Speakers
Via: Washington Examiner
The State Department admitted Wednesday that it used department volunteers with limited Arabic language abilities to staff a hotline it set up to take calls about ongoing violence in Syria.
That move led to confusion this week as people who speak Arabic, which is Syria’s official language, tried to call with information about violations of the Syria cease-fire, only to get hung up by volunteers who didn’t have a perfect understanding of the language.
“In order to help monitor the cessation of hostilities in Syria, we did set up an information hotline that was staffed 24/7, where violations could be reported I think via a number of different apps,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday.
“There were some language issues among some of the volunteers,” he added. “And granted, these again are State Department employees who are doing this in addition to their usual jobs.”
“We are aware that there were some language issues, as you note, and we’re working to correct those, obviously, because it’s important that we have Arabic speakers who are able to field incoming calls,” Toner said. More