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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

UN Security Council to vote on Friday on demand for Syria truce

It was not immediately clear if the text had won the support of Syrian ally Russia

Syria's Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, attends a Security Council meeting on the situation in his country at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Syria's Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, attends a Security Council meeting on the situation in his country at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The United Nations Security Council will vote on Friday on a draft resolution demanding a 30-day truce in Syria to allow aid deliveries and medical evacuations.

It comes after Russia on Thursday proposed amendments to the resolution drafted by Sweden and Kuwait, arguing the language was unrealistic and that the 15-member Security Council could not simply impose a truce on Syria without consulting the parties on the ground.

A slightly amended text was later circulated to council members, but it was unclear whether Russia, the Assad regime's main ally, would support the measure.

Kuwait's UN mission, who is also president of the Security Council for February, said the council was due to vote on the resolution at 11am New York time (8pm UAE).

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A resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by permanent members Russia, China, the United States, Britain or France. Russia has cast 11 vetoes on possible Security Council action on Syria since its war there began in 2011.

Warplanes on Thursday pounded the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta for a fifth day running, bringing the civilian death toll to more than 400. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed on Wednesday for an immediate end to "war activities" there.

Previous attempts at a cessation of hostilities in Syria have quickly unravelled.