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Paris backs Moscow’s initiative on humanitarian pause in Eastern Ghouta

The French top diplomat says Paris supports Russia’s initiative on a humanitarian pause in Eastern Ghouta

MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. France supports Russia’s initiative on a humanitarian pause in Eastern Ghouta, France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"The launch of a five-hour pause was a real move forward… and we fully support it," Le Drian said. "It would be better if it could be done within 24 hours daily, but, let’s say, a five-hour standstill is already a positive move forward. All players should be able to use this first stage to bring it further," he noted.

On February 24, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding the warring sides in Syria to end hostilities for at least 30 days to provide humanitarian help to the population. The document was backed by 15 Security Council member states, including Russia. According to the resolution, the ceasefire will affect the military operation against Islamic State (outlawed in Russia - TASS) and other terrorist organizations.

On Monday, Russian Defense Minister and General of the Army Sergey Shoigu stated that, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order, a daily humanitarian pause from 09:00 to 14:00 local time (from 10:00 to 15:00 Moscow time) has been launched in Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, on February 27. However, the civilians could not leave the suburb because the militants shelled the humanitarian corridor near the community of Vafidin, said head of the control group for Eastern Ghouta de-escalation zone General Viktor Pankov.