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Future of Syrian aid mechanism depends on Security Council’s collective work — diplomat

The first deputy permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the world organization said that the Syrian side is satisfied with the extension of the mechanism

UNITED NATIONS, July 12. /TASS/. The mechanism of trans-border aid to Syria should become more transparent, and the possibility of its further extension in January 2023 would depend on collective work of the UN Security Council, a high-ranking Russian diplomat said on Tuesday.

"Russia was trying to get the best deal possible. The world is bigger than just western countries. That’s why they need to get used to the situation, when they have to take into consideration interests of countries most and foremost affected by Security Council decisions. So we thought that we need to take to an account Syria’s interests foremost," Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky told reporters after the UN Security Council’s vote on the issue.

In his words, the Syrian side was satisfied with the extension of the mechanism, as it was "the outcome that they wanted." "What’s why I leave the comments of American colleagues [who criticized Russia for vetoing the Western-backed resolution to automatically extend the mechanism by one year instead of six months] to their conscience," the diplomat added.

"If we had wanted to shut it down, we would have already shut it down now," Polyansky continued. "But we want it to become better, more transparent, efficient, not limited to cross-border [aid deliveries]."

He also said that extending the mechanism beyond January 2023 "depends on the collective work of the Council," security guarantees and a report by the UN secretary-general.

"If there would be genuine efforts, <…> I don’t think that anyone should worry about it," the diplomat said.


UN Security Council resolution

The UN Security Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution to extend the mechanism of cross-border aid in Syria to January 10, 2023. Twelve members of the Security Council voted in favor of the document, while the UK, the US and France abstained.

The resolution is based on the Russian proposal and provides for the extension of the mechanism of cross-border assistance for six months, with a subsequent possible extension for another six months by a separate resolution. Thus, the work of the only checkpoint, Bab al-Hawa, on the border of Syria and Turkey will continue.

In addition, according to the resolution, the UN secretary general will monthly inform the Security Council on the progress of providing aid, and every two months prepare a report on the implementation of the resolution. It also calls for bi-monthly Security Council interactive dialogue meetings with donors, regional stakeholders and representatives of international humanitarian agencies working in Syria to discuss the implementation of the resolution, including early recovery projects.