Russia, China veto extension of cross-border aid in Syria: UN diplomats

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 08 2020 06:13 AM

Children at the Kurdish-run Al Hol detention camp in northern Syria in March 2019. France on June 22, 2020 brought home 10 children of French jihadists who had been stuck in such camps in northeastern Syria since at least last year. Ivor Prickett, The New York Times

UNITED NATIONS - Russia and China on Tuesday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have extended authorization for cross-border humanitarian aid in Syria for a year, diplomats said.

Germany and Belgium, two of the council's non-permanent members, had drafted the resolution, which would have allowed aid to continue to pass through two points on the Turkish border without interference from Damascus.

Beyond Russia and China, the other 13 members of the council voted to approve the draft, the diplomats said.

During negotiations, Moscow had asked that the extension be limited to six months, rather than a year, and that it only be allowed at one border crossing, not two, they said.

Immediately after the vote, Russia proposed its own draft resolution, taking into account its preferred terms, a diplomat told AFP.

The results of a vote on that resolution will be known on Wednesday.

Authorization for cross-border humanitarian aid has existed since 2014, with periodic extensions. The latest extension expires on Friday.

In January, Moscow, Syria's closest ally, succeeded in having the crossing points reduced from four to two and in limiting the authorization to six months instead of a year, as had been done previously.