No UN vote yet on extending cross-border aid to Syria
The British UN mission announces that a vote on the deal's renewal "has been postponed to allow for further consultation among Security Council members."
In a last-ditch effort to extend essential cross-border supplies to millions of people in Syria, negotiations continued Monday at the United Nations as officials scrambled to reach an agreement, according to diplomatic sources.
The British UN mission, in charge of the council this month, announced on Twitter that a vote on the deal's renewal, which was initially set for 10:00 am (1400 GMT) Monday, "has been postponed to allow for further consultation among Security Council members."
Another diplomatic source claims that the 15-member Security Council does not have a schedule for when it will meet next and that the current aid agreement, which was extended for another six months in January, expires on Monday.
The agreement, which was established in 2014, enables the UN to send humanitarian aid from Turkey to people residing in rebel-held areas of northwest Syria without having to go via territories under the authority of the government.
Only the Bab al-Hawa crossing is still open despite the mechanism's initial four entry sites, and because to pressure from Moscow, an ally of Damascus, the agreement is up for renewal every six months.
More than 80% of the requirements of those living in areas occupied by armed and terrorist groups are now met by the crossing, including everything from chickpeas to diapers and blankets.
Several diplomatic sources claim that the most recent resolution, which was negotiated by Brazil and Switzerland, would permit a one-year extension as requested by aid workers.
However, the same sources said that Russia, which vetoed a one-year extension in July 2022, is once more adamant that it will only consent to another six-month agreement.
In Syria, four million people need humanitarian aid to survive after years of conflict, economic hardship, and deadly earthquakes, according to the UN.
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad authorized the opening of two additional crossings following the country's devastating earthquake in February; however, that permission is slated to expire in the middle of August.