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    Syria Opposition Urges Russia Not to Block UN Aid Resolution

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    Syria’s main opposition group in exile has called on Russia not to block a draft UN Security Council resolution on humanitarian aid supported by Arab and Western nations.

    GENEVA, February 14 (RIA Novosti) – Syria’s main opposition group in exile has called on Russia not to block a draft UN Security Council resolution on humanitarian aid supported by Arab and Western nations.

    The draft document submitted to the UN last week by Australia, Luxembourg and Jordan would impose sanctions on Syria if it does not comply with demands to enable the supply of aid within 15 days.

    “The document is necessary to save the lives of Syrians and to help moving forward the political process,” Syrian National Coalition spokesman Louay Safi said Friday.

    Russia has denounced the text as a non-starter, saying it contains one-sided accusations against the Syrian government.

    Moscow has used its Security Council veto to block three UN resolutions against Damascus and has been Syria’s main ally since fighting broke out between government troops and armed rebels three years ago.

    Safi said the coalition is expecting serious progress at the Geneva-2 talks and has urged mediators and the international community to step up efforts to facilitate negotiations intended to end Syria's civil war.

    The opposition official once again accused the Syrian government of stalling the talks and suggested that the team of negotiators representing President Bashar Assad’s regime be replaced.

    Meanwhile, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad said Friday that the second round of direct negotiation between the warring sides in the Syrian conflict, which started in Geneva on Monday, has made no progress.

    It is unclear whether both sides are willing to engage in further talks over the weekend.

    By UN estimates, some 130,000 people have been killed and up to 7 million have been displaced in the ongoing civil war in Syria since 2011.

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    Geneva 2, Faisal Muqdad
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