Russia accuses US of refusing to share Syria deal documents with UN

By AFP September 17, 2016 07:51

Russia accuses US of refusing to share Syria deal documents with UN

An urgent council meeting called to discuss the agreement was abruptly cancelled on Friday amid disagreements between Russia and the United States over the joint deal.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the council would not be able to endorse the agreement with a resolution unless it receives information about the deal.

“Most likely we are not going to have a resolution at the Security Council because the United States does not want to share those documents with the members of the Security Council,” he told reporters.

“We believe we cannot ask them to support a document that they haven’t seen.”

The US and Russian envoys were to present to the council details of the agreement reached on September 9 that calls for a ceasefire, the delivery of aid and joint targeting of Islamist rebels in Syria.

Russia, Syria’s main ally, had been pushing for a resolution to endorse the agreement reached after months of US-Russian negotiations.

The United States has been reluctant to release the details of the agreement, citing security concerns for some US-backed groups fighting in Syria.

“Since we could not agree on an approach to briefing the council that would not compromise the operational security of the arrangement, the meeting was canceled,” a spokesman for the US mission said.

Churkin said he had presented two separate draft resolutions endorsing the deal, but said the American side had tried to introduce changes.

“They in their typical way came up with a completely different thing — which is trying to interpret and re-interpret the agreement,” he said.

“They are not doing the right thing.”

More Syria meetings next week

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are due on Wednesday to attend a special council meeting on Syria, held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.

Lavrov said a meeting of the International Syria Support Group backing the peace process was likely to be held on Tuesday in New York, on the eve of the council meeting.

“We believe the Security Council can play an important role in the resolution of the crisis in Syria,” the US spokesman said.

“However, right now we are focused on the implementation of the agreement brokered by Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov, particularly the urgent need for humanitarian aid to reach Syrians in need.”

Under the deal, all sides were due to allow deliveries of food and other basic supplies to the battleground city of Aleppo after a ceasefire went into effect on Monday.

But on Friday, aid convoys positioned at the border with Turkey had yet to receive the all-clear to begin their journey to Aleppo.



By AFP September 17, 2016 07:51

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