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Deploying international monitors in Aleppo to take weeks — Russian UN envoy

December 16, 2016, 23:29 UTC+3

"It is unrealistic to think that it can be done in a span of two or three days," the Russian diplomat said

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UNITED NATIONS, December 16. /TASS/. It will take weeks to send an international mission to Aleppo to monitor the process of evacuation of people from the city’s eastern quarters, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Friday, commenting on France’s initiative to deploy an United Nations monitoring mission in Aleppo.

"Deployment of monitors will take weeks," he said after a closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council. "These are to be well-prepared people who know what they do and how to do that. It is unrealistic to think that it can be done in a span of two or three days."

He said that France’s initiatives need to be scrutinized to see their "practical use." Moreover, in his words, some of them give rise to questions. "Do we need to waste two months to resume a United Nations monitoring mission? It may have some point if we are able to ensure cessation of hostilities in the country more comprehensively," he said.

He reminded that a 300-strong United Nations monitoring mission had been deployed in Syria in 2012 at the request of the United States. That mission was preceded by a monitoring mission from the League of Arab States. Now, officers of the International Committee of the Red Cross are working in Aleppo, Churkin said, adding that Russia hopes there will be more possibilities for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) after Aleppo’s eastern quarters are liberated from terrorists.

France’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Francois Delattre said earlier on Friday his country plans to initiate a resolution on deploying an international mission to monitor and coordinate evacuation of people from Eastern Aleppo.

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