UN Security Council approval for aid deliveries from Turkey to several million people in opposition-held parts of Syria expired on Monday, as council members struggled to persuade Russia to extend the massive UN operation for more than six months.
The operation’s mandate previously expired in 2022 and 2020 before it was renewed a day later. The authorization is necessary because the Syrian authorities did not agree to the process, which is being presented Aid includes food, medicine and shelter Since 2014 in the north of the country.
The 15-member Security Council was negotiating a text drafted by Switzerland and Brazil to allow the UN operation to continue using Bab al-Hawa crossing for 12 months. But Russia submitted a competing text on Friday proposing just six months.
Diplomats have expressed hope that the council will be able to reach agreement on a text and vote on it on Tuesday. For a resolution to be adopted, at least nine members must vote in favour, and Russia, China, the United States, France or Britain must not veto it.
An aid convoy passes into northern Syria (archive)
“A 12-month authorization allows us and our partners to achieve better humanitarian results in the coming months. It’s that simple,” UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told the Security Council last month.
Griffiths added that the United Nations appeal to collect $5.4 billion to help Syria in 2023 is the largest in the world, but the international organization has received less than 12% of this amount.
Russia says the UN aid operation violates Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And calls for the need to deliver more aid from inside Syria.
The Security Council initially authorized aid deliveries in 2014 to rebel-held areas of Syria from Iraq, Jordan and two points in Turkey. But Russia and China have reduced that to just one point on the border with Turkey.
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