UNSC emergency meeting on Syria

Oct 8, 2016
UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the situation in Syria.
UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the situation in Syria.

The UN Security Council is scheduled to have an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the current situation in Syria as Russia and the United States are at odds with each other over the airstrikes on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

China’s Xinhua news agency reports that the emergency council meeting is to start on Saturday mid-afternoon, and the council members are expected to vote on a draft resolution on Syria.

Russia, the council’s president for this month, said on Friday a draft resolution demanding an end to air strikes and military flights over Aleppo was unacceptable.

The resolution, also calling for an Aleppo ceasefire, is to be considered on Saturday but Vitaly Churkin, the Russian UN ambassador who holds the council presidency for October, said, “I cannot possibly see how we can let this resolution pass.”

The council’s decision to meet in its emergency session on Saturday came shortly after the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, called on parties on Friday to halt hostilities in civilian area in Aleppo.

The special envoy made the statement as he was briefing the 15-nation UN council in closed consultations on the latest developments in the Middle East country, where the conflict has been dragging on for five and a half years.

“We are talking about 900 people, basically, who are becoming the main reason for which there is 275,000 people actually being attacked,” he said about the impact of airstrkes on Aleppo. Would this, he asked, be the excuse for “the destruction of the city?”

“In maximum two months, two-and-a-half months, the city of eastern Aleppo may be totally destroyed,” he told reporters.

Also on Friday, French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters that “we have a strong determination to go to a vote” on the draft resolution, which could lead Russia to use its veto power as a permanent member of the council.

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