Russia, Backed by China, Casts 14th UN Veto on Syria to Block Cross-Border Aid – Algemeiner

Posted By on December 21, 2019

Russian and Syrian national flags flutter on military vehicles near Manbij, Syria, Oct. 15, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Omar Sanadiki / File.

Russia, backed by China, on Friday cast its 14th UN Security Council veto since the start of theSyrian conflict in 2011 to block cross-border aid deliveries from Turkey and Iraq to millions ofSyrian civilians.

The resolution drafted by Belgium, Kuwait and Germany would have allowed cross-border humanitarian deliveries for another year from two points in Turkey and one in Iraq. ButSyrian ally Russia only wanted to approve the two Turkish crossings for six months.

Russia and China vetoed the draft resolution. The remaining 13 members of the Security Council voted in favor. A resolution needs a minimum nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, the United States, Britain or France to pass.

Deputy UN aid chief Ursula Mueller had warned the council on Thursday that without the cross border operations we would see an immediate end of aid supporting millions of civilians.

December 20, 2019 2:38 pm

That would cause a rapid increase in hunger and disease, resulting in death, suffering and further displacement including across-borders for a vulnerable population who have already suffered unspeakable tragedy as a result of almost nine years of conflict, Mueller said.

Since 2014, the United Nations and aid groups have crossed intoSyriafrom Turkey, Iraq and Jordan at four places annually authorized by the Security Council. In a bid to compromise with Russia, the Jordanian crossing point was dropped by Belgium, Kuwait and Germany from their draft.

The current authorization for the four border crossings in Turkey, Iraq and Jordan ends on Jan. 10, so the Security Council could still attempt to reach an agreement, though some diplomats acknowledged this could now be difficult.

Russia has vetoed 14 council resolutions onSyriasince a crackdown bySyrian President Bashar al-Assad on pro-democracy protesters in 2011 led to civil war. Islamic State militants then used the chaos to seize territory inSyriaand Iraq.

Indonesian UN Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani told the council on Thursday: The world is watching. The international community is watching. But we are not here to just watch we are here to help and take action It is not about us. It is all about savingSyrian people on the ground.

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Russia, Backed by China, Casts 14th UN Veto on Syria to Block Cross-Border Aid - Algemeiner

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