Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Diplomats seek deal to keep critical Syria aid flowing

Diplomats at the United Nations held last-ditch discussions on extending Syrian cross-border aid Sunday, as residents of the country’s rebel-held northwest feared life-saving supplies could soon halt. The lack of an agreement threatens to upend assistance to more than two million people. The aid delivery mechanism across Turkey’s border into rebel-held Syria at the Bab al-Hawa crossing is the only way UN assistance can reach civilians without navigating areas controlled by Syrian government forces. The system has been in place since 2014, but it expired on Sunday. Syrian ally Russia on Friday vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have prolonged the mechanism by one year, and Western powers then voted down Moscow’s competing resolution that proposed extending approval by just six months. “Negotiations are continuing,” one diplomat at the UN in New York told AFP on condition of anonymity. But one ambassador, who also declined to be identified, said: “We are stuck where we were on Friday.” (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/diplomats-seek-deal-to-keep-critical-syria-aid-flowing/ar-AAZqoe5) The Security Council has previously extended the cross-border mechanism after it had expired, and several sources said a vote was still possible early in the coming week.

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