UN Security Council cancels meeting on Syria

US and Russian envoys were to present details of the joint agreement that calls for a ceasefire, the delivery of aid and joint targeting of extremists. (File Photo: Reuters)

The UN Security Council on Friday canceled an urgent meeting on Syria over disagreements between Russia and the United States over disclosing details of a ceasefire deal.

During the scheduled meeting, US and Russian envoys were to present details of the joint agreement that calls for a ceasefire, the delivery of aid and joint targeting of extremist rebels in Syria.

“Since we could not agree on an approach to briefing the council that would not compromise the operational security of the arrangement, the meeting was canceled,” a spokesman for the US mission said.

The Russian mission did not respond to AFP requests for a comment.

Russia, Syria’s key ally, is pushing for the Security Council to endorse the agreement, but France and other council members have said they must first learn more details about the deal.

The United States has been reluctant to release the details of the agreement, citing security concerns for some US-backed groups fighting in Syria.

Under the deal, all sides were due to allow deliveries of food and other basic supplies to the battleground city of Aleppo after a ceasefire went into effect on Monday.

But on Friday, aid convoys positioned at the border with Turkey had yet to receive the all-clear to begin their journey to Aleppo.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Thursday that the council could adopt a resolution backing the agreement during a high-level meeting on Syria to be held on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are due to attend the council talks, held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.

“We believe the Security Council can play an important role in the resolution of the crisis in Syria,” the US spokesman said.

“However, right now we are focused on the implementation of the agreement brokered by Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov, particularly the urgent need for humanitarian aid to reach Syrians in need.”

Diplomats said the International Syria Support Group backing the peace process could meet on Tuesday in New York, on the eve of the council meeting.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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