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Egypt favoured more consultations on 'vetoed' Aleppo's resolution: FM

Egypt’s foreign ministry said that it had wanted to delay putting the draft resolution to a vote so that all Security Council members could agree on it

Ahram Online , Tuesday 6 Dec 2016
Sameh Shoukry
File Photo: Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: AP)

Egypt was in favour of continuing consultations on a draft resolution for a ceasefire in Syria’s Aleppo to ensure consent from all members of the UN Security Council, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Though instead, the draft resolution was submitted to a vote that was rejected by the council on Monday, the foreign ministry added.

The resolution, which called for halting the fighting in the embattled city of Aleppo and allowing humanitarian assistance, was vetoed by Russia and China on Monday. 11 council members voted in favour of it.

In an official statement, the ministry said that "Egypt had made great efforts over the past weeks to consult with council members to reach a convergence of views on the draft resolution."

"However, some member states insisted on presenting the draft resolution for a vote as it was, which was not approved by all states," the statement read.

The ministry added that Egypt, which submitted this resolution along with Spain and New Zealand, had exerted such efforts out of the belief that dealing with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Aleppo is a priority.

According to media reports, Russia tried to postpone the vote until at least Tuesday after the Geneva talks between Moscow and Washington, but the US, UK and France decided to put it to vote on Monday.

Russia also argued that the truce would allow rebels to regroup.

The vote marked the sixth time Russia has blocked a council resolution on Syria since the conflict began in March 2011, and the fifth for China.

The draft text demanded that "all parties to the Syrian conflict shall cease... any and all attacks in the city of Aleppo," as well as "allow urgent humanitarian needs to be addressed," meaning permitting emergency services to enter, AFP reported.

The foreign ministry added that Egypt hopes that the Security Council will "continue its efforts to reach a clear and agreed upon vision to deal with the humanitarian challenges in Aleppo and other Syrian cities to stop the killing of the Syrian people."

Aleppo has been a key battleground of Syria's civil war, which erupted in 2011 with popular protests calling for Assad's ouster.

President Bashar al-Assad's forces have seized two-thirds of the former rebel bastion in east Aleppo since they began an operation to recapture the country’s entire battered second city in mid-November.

The most recent offensive has left more than 341 people dead in east Aleppo, including 44 children, according to British-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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