20:09 GMT05 August 2020
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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The UN Security Council (UNSC) has adopted a resolution to extend the work of one Syria-Turkey cross-border point for one year in order to ensure humanitarian aid deliveries to Syria, German Ambassador to the United Nations Christoph Heusgen has announced.

    On Friday, the UN mandates for the Bab al-Hawa and Bab al-Salam crossings from Turkey expired. Belgium and Germany initially insisted that the mandates for both of the crossings be extended, but then agreed with Russia's position to continue the work of the Bab al-Hawa crossing alone (until 10 July 2021).

    "Twelve members of the Security Council voted for the resolution … the resolution submitted by Belgium and Germany has been adopted", Heusgen said on Saturday.

    On Tuesday, Russia and China vetoed a draft submitted by Belgium and Germany that would have extended humanitarian deliveries into Syria from Turkey for a year through both of the checkpoints. On Friday, the UNSC was unable to adopt a resolution drafted by Russia that would have extended cross-border humanitarian aid deliveries into northwest Syria for a year from only the Bab al-Hawa checkpoint in Turkey.

    Russia had been seeking to limit the number of cross-border aid deliveries into Syria to just one checkpoint, Bab al-Hawa, which is used for about 90 percent of UN deliveries to northwestern Syria. The Russian position is that the cross-border aid delivery mechanism was a temporary and urgent measure initiated in 2014 and that the current situation in Syria, where government forces have regained control over most of the territories, no longer requires the work of so many cross-border checkpoints, which threaten Syrian sovereignty.

    Syria and Russia have stated that humanitarian aid should now be managed via Damascus.

    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcomed the adoption of the new UNSC resolution on Saturday, saying that Germany wanted to preserve a larger number of checkpoints but eventually agreed to a compromise in order to keep the current humanitarian aid mechanism alive. According to Maas, Germany plans to allocate 1.6 million euros ($1.8 million) in aid for Syria and neighbouring countries this year.

    Tags:
    resolution, Christoph Heusgen, UNSC, Russia, Syria
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