UN Security Council reaches deal for Syria cross-border aid

Resolution would authorise six months of humanitarian aid for millions of Syrians if approved

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The UN Security Council has reached an agreement to extend humanitarian aid crossings into Syria from Turkey, diplomats were quoted as saying on Monday.

The authorisation of UN deliveries of life-saving essentials to four million Syrians in opposition-held north-west Syria expired on Sunday.

The new agreement draft mirrors Russia's six-month resolution from last week, AFP and Reuters reported. That resolution failed to pass.

It requires a new resolution in January 2023 to extend cross-border aid for another six months at the Bab Al Hawa crossing.

Diplomats have not officially announced timing for a vote on the new resolution.

AFP and Reuters reported that the agreement would require a UN Security General report on humanitarian aid needs in the north-western region of Syria at some time in December of this year.

The new agreement by Ireland and Norway missions at the UN comes after two resolutions failed in the Security Council on Friday.

Russia vetoed a year-long extension, which was widely supported by many western nations in the 15-member international body.

"This is a life and death issue," US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said on Friday.

"And tragically, people will die because of this vote and the country who shamelessly deployed the veto."

Syrian ally Russia's counter-resolution of a six-month extension of aid was blocked as Security Council members demanded for a full year extension.

For a resolution to be adopted, it needs nine supporting votes, and no vetoes from any of the council's permanent members — the US, Russia, China, Britain and France.

UN's cross-border aid deliveries from Turkey to Syria have been occurring since 2014, as a response to humanitarian needs from the conflict that started in 2011.

The Turkish-Syrian border crossing at Bab Al Hawa is the only entry into north-west Syria without crossing government-held territories.

Updated: July 12, 2022, 5:47 AM
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