Russia vetoes UN vote to extend key Syria aid route

AFP , Tuesday 11 Jul 2023

Russia blocked a nine-month extension of a key Syria aid route at the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that allows for the delivery of aid overland from Turkey into rebel-held areas of Syria.

Syrian Bab al-Hawa
File photo: A convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid is seen parked after crossing the Syrian Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, on July 10, 2023. AFP


The UN-brokered agreement expired on Monday, with many council members including the United States and Britain calling for a full-year extension. On the other side, Russia who vetoed a nine-month extension proposed by Switzerland and Brazil has insisted on just six months.

The 15 members of the Security Council had been trying for days to find a compromise to extend the deal, which since 2014 has allowed for food, water and medicine to be trucked to northwestern Syria without the authorization of Damascus.

The crossing provides for more than 80 percent of the needs of people living in rebel-controlled areas with Syria's government regularly denouncing the aid deliveries as a violation of its sovereignty.

The accord originally allowed for four entry points into rebel-held Syria, though now only the Bab al-Hawa crossing remains passable. The aid mechanism comes up for renewal every six months due to pressure from Damascus ally Moscow.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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