A compromise project was adopted by Ireland and Norway, earlier the Security Council could not approve the resolutions proposed by Russia and the West. Moscow believes that the mechanism of humanitarian aid through the checkpoint with Turkey should be curtailed and imported through Damascus
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution to extend for six months the mechanism for the cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria through Turkey, with the possibility of extending for another for six months. The broadcast was conducted in the YouTube organization.
The resolution of Norway and Ireland was supported by representatives of 12 countries. The US, UK and France abstained, no one voted against.
Irish Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason noted at the meeting that “it's no secret that the negotiations have been difficult.” According to her, when preparing the document, Ireland and Norway were guided only by considerations of the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people.
Dmitry Polyansky, First Deputy Representative of Russia to the UN, indicated at the meeting that Russia supports the resolution. “We catch some disappointment of a number of our colleagues due to the fact that their vision of extending the TGM (transboundary mechanism) did not work out in the end,” — Polyansky noted. The deputy representative noted that the “optimal formula” was found extension of the cross-border mechanism.
On July 8, the UN Security Council did not support the Russian draft resolution on the extension of the cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria through the Bab al-Hawa checkpoint; for six months, with the possibility of extension for the same period by a new resolution. US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Russia's resolution is aimed at helping the Syrian regime, not the people. She noted that in six months it would be impossible to establish a stable supply of aid, and needy Syrians would suffer from this. “Those who did not support our project have demonstrated their real attitude towards the needs and aspirations of ordinary Syrians,” — then Polyansky said.
After that, Russia vetoed a draft resolution by Ireland and Norway to extend the checkpoint for a year. China then abstained, all other members of the Security Council supported the project. The Deputy Representative of Russia pointed out that the project of Western countries “ignored the interests of Damascus.”
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The day before, Polyansky said that an agreement was reached among the members of the Security Council on the extension of the TGM mechanism. According to him, the Russian project “with minor modifications” was taken as a basis.
The cross-border mechanism for the supply of humanitarian aid across the Turkish-Syrian border has been operating since 2014. Initially, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution according to which they were carried out through four checkpoints: Bab al-Hawa, Bab es-Salam, El Yarubiya; and “Al-Ramata” on the borders of Syria with Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. In 2020, the Security Council reduced the number of checkpoints to two, and later— to one, leaving only “Bab al-Hawa”. The validity of cross-border supplies through it expired on July 10.
According to UN Secretary General António Guterres, since 2014, 50,000 trucks with humanitarian aid have crossed the Syrian border. Deputy Secretary General Martin Griffiths called for maintaining the mechanism for delivering aid across the border with Turkey for another year, since 90% of those living in the opposition-held north-west of Syria (4.4 million people) need it.
As noted in June Special Representative of the President of Russia for the Syrian settlement Alexander Lavrentiev, Moscow believes that it is time to turn off the mechanism, since aid should go legally through the capital Damascus. “This mechanism was created as a temporary measure, and, probably, the time has come for all the assistance provided by the international community to go legally through the territory of Syria, through Damascus,” — explained Lavrentiev.
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