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France pushes UN draft resolution on Aleppo ceasefire

UNITED NATIONS: France on Friday discussed a UN draft resolution on imposing a ceasefire in Syria’s battleground city of Aleppo with Russia, the United States and the two other permanent Security Council members, diplomats said.

The draft text calls for a cessation of hostilities in Aleppo, where the Syrian army has launched an offensive to retake the rebel-held east of the city.

The proposed resolution would also provide for aid deliveries to besieged eastern Aleppo and the grounding of all Syrian and Russian planes in that area.

A ceasefire monitoring mechanism would be set up with experts from the 20-nation International Syrian Support Group (ISSG) taking part, said a diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Russia did not show any immediate opposition,” said the diplomat.

The idea is “not to push Russia to impose a veto but to try to overcome the impasse of mutual accusations” between Moscow and Washington for the collapse of the ceasefire, he said.

“It is not going to be easy,” he added.

The United Nations is calling for a weekly 48-hour ceasefire to allow vital humanitarian aid deliveries to reach war-battered civilians in Aleppo.

Following the meeting with the permanent council members including Britain and China, diplomats were to hold negotiations on the text over the weekend, with a draft resolution to be circulated to the full Security Council on Monday.

The new diplomatic push at the United Nations came as the United States said earlier that US-Russia talks to revive the ceasefire deal were “on life support.”

Moscow has been accused of indiscriminately bombing rebel-held east Aleppo in support of an assault by Syrian government troops aiming to capture all of the country’s second city.

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