UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Belgium, Kuwait and Germany on Thursday formally asked Russia not to veto a “purely humanitarian” resolution in the UN Security Council that calls for a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib province.
The ambassadors of these three countries announced at the start of a UN Security Council meeting on Syria, “as responsible for the humanitarian file in Syria in the Security Council, we call on all member states to vote in favor of our resolution.”
Since the start of the Syrian regime operation, backed by Russia, four months ago in Idlib province (northwestern Syria), “we have noticed the humanitarian consequences” of the displacement of half a million civilians and damage to medical and civilian facilities, the ambassadors added.
They stressed that “the United Nations has repeatedly warned that Idlib may be experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century. The Council cannot and must not allow this to happen.”
The three countries are expected to put the text to the vote in the afternoon. In addition to a Russian veto, the text could be rejected by a Chinese vote against it, diplomats say.
During the negotiations, Russia demanded that the text include an exception for “counter-terrorism operations” but failed to meet its demand.
Moscow and China, for their part, have prepared a counter-draft resolution that could also be put to a vote after the first draft. But it is not expected to get the necessary majority to pass it (9 votes out of 15).
Both projects provide for a direct ceasefire in the Idlib governorate to prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
But unlike the Belgian-Kuwaiti-German draft resolution, the Russian-Chinese draft states that “cessation of hostilities does not apply to military operations against individuals, groups or entities associated with terrorist groups.”
This, however, opens the way for different interpretations of the text and has been considered unacceptable by other members of the Security Council.
Since the start of the conflict in Syria, Russia has resorted 12 times to its veto as a permanent member of the Security Council.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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