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UN SC unanimously passes resolution demanding 30-day ceasefire across Syria

The UN Security Council demanded in the resolution the parties to the conflict stop immediately hostilities and abide by the humanitarian pause at least 30 days across Syria
UN Security Council session  EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT
UN Security Council session

THE UNITED NATIONS, February 25. /TASS/. The United Nations Security Council in a unanimous vote on Saturday approved a resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire across Syria to allow aid access to the population.

The Security Council’s 15 members, including Russia, voted for the document.

The UN Security Council demands in the resolution that "all parties cease hostilities without delay and engage immediately to ensure full and comprehensive implementation of this demand by all parties, for a durable humanitarian pause for at least 30 consecutive days throughout Syria."

The ceasefire will enable "safe, unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid and services and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded, in accordance with applicable international law."

The cessation of hostilities will not apply to military operations against the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and Al Nusra Front (outlawed in Russia) and other terrorist groups.

The Council also expressed its "grave alarm at the dire situation of the hundreds of civilians trapped in besieged areas" in Syria and called on all parties to "immediately lift the sieges of populated areas, including in Eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Foua and Kefraya" and allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance there.

The document also demands that immediately after the cessation of hostilities all parties shall allow "safe, unimpeded and sustained access each week" for humanitarian convoys sent by UN and its partners to conflict-hit areas.

Talks on the resolution, co-authored by Kuwait and Sweden, lasted more than 10 days. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya told a Security Council session on Thursday that Russia insisted on amending the draft to make it "reasonable and feasible." Later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would be ready to support the resolution if it gets guarantees that the militants will observe it as well.

Kuwait and Sweden initially planned to put the document up for vote on Friday morning, but the session was postponed several times to give more time for negotiations.