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Russian diplomat calls New Zealand’s draft resolution on Syria interesting

October 18, 2016, 11:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A diplomat stresses Russia hopes for restoration of ceasefire regime in Syria

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Syrian boys inside their destroyed house in Homs, Syria

Syrian boys inside their destroyed house in Homs, Syria

© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Moscow believes that a draft resolution of the UN Security Council on Syria proposed by New Zealand is interesting, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday.

"We find that the well-known New Zealand’s draft resolution on Syria is rather interesting," Ryabkov said.

Russia also values the initiative of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Aleppo and is ready to work as part of the UN, he added.

The diplomat stressed that Moscow hopes that the ceasefire regime will be reinstated in Syria. "The political process is largely in a deadlock, although there is still some prospect," the diplomat said.

"The issues on returning to the cessation of combat actions, which we hope for, and easing humanitarian access were in the center of the discussion in a narrow format in Lausanne last Saturday," he added.

"Now we expect that the work may continue at the level of experts," Ryabkov said, adding that the Russian side is ready for this, including in the framework of the defense ministry.

The draft resolution proposed by New Zealand provides for the withdrawal of insurgents from eastern Aleppo in compliance with the initiative of Mistura. It also requires combatants to "immediately and completely cease all attacks that can lead to death or injury of people or damage to civilian objects." First of all, this concerns air strikes on Aleppo, according to the text of the draft document.

The document also provides for the regular introduction of 48-hour truce for the delivery of humanitarian aid. The first truce, according to the draft resolution, should occur within 24 hours after its adoption. In addition, the document indicates the need for demarcation of the opposition groups and terrorist groups included in the UN Security Council lists.

Eight-hour ceasefire in Aleppo

Ryabkov went on to say that an announced eight-hour ceasefire in Syria’s Aleppo for this Thursday speaks for Russia’s serious approach to humanitarian issues.

"The announced eight-hour humanitarian pause reflects the fact that Moscow assumes extremely serious approach to the task of providing humanitarian access," Ryabkov said. "This eight-hour pause also complies with the well-known initiative put forward by Staffan de Mistura."

"The main difficulty at the moment is that, unfortunately, our US colleagues are unable to overcome their own dogmas, which they formulated on their own," the senior Russian diplomat added.

US actions in Syria

The diplomat said the difference between Washington’s promises and its actions in Syria has reached an unprecedented level.

"At the moment, the main difficulty is that our American counterparts, unfortunately, are not ready to bridge their own doctrines, instead they are trying to impose them on others. One of these doctrines stipulates giving up full-scale military cooperation with Russia and attempting to give the impression that dialogue with Russia on Syria has simply been suspended," he said. "The last statement is not true because the dialogue continues."

"We can probably say that this dialogue had been more efficient before than it is now. All these are personal assessments that may differ," Ryabkov went on to say. "Our position hasn’t changed, it is not for momentary advantages. The US and Russia indeed have a special responsibility for what is going on. We have been demonstrating our willingness and commitment to a political settlement on the Syrian conflict and alleviating the humanitarian situation in the Aleppo area not only in words, but in deeds as well."

"Nevertheless, we have once again faced a situation when the opposite side violates the measures needed to be taken in the vicinity of Castello road in order to ensure humanitarian aid deliveries, among other things. Such a dramatic contradiction between Washington’s commitments to a peaceful settlement, and its actions, the attitude to its clients, hasn’t been seen for a long time," the diplomat noted.

"This is an alarming moment," Ryabkov concluded.

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