Polyansky: Operation of two checkpoints on Syrian border does not require UN Security Council resolution
UN, 14 February – RIA Novosti. First Deputy Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Dmitry Polyansky told reporters that Russia believes that there is no need for a Security Council resolution to deliver humanitarian aid to Syria from the two checkpoints on the Syria-Turkey border.
Earlier, UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed Damascus’ agreement to open two checkpoints, Bab es Salam and Al Rai, for a period of three months from Turkey to northwest Syria to ensure timely delivery of humanitarian aid.
“I am absolutely certain that a solution is not needed. Because this is a sovereign decision of Syria,” Polyansky said.
“There is a big difference between a cross-border humanitarian delivery mechanism that violates Syria’s sovereignty and Syria’s sovereignty decision,” he explained.
Earlier, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths announced the need to open two border crossings in addition to the existing one at the Syrian-Turkish border.
A simplified regime of delivery of humanitarian and medical supplies to Syria from border crossings from neighboring countries (primarily beyond the Turkish border) has been operating since 2014. This mechanism is renewed every year. In this context, UN humanitarian agencies and partners were initially authorized to use conflict lines and routes through four border checkpoints: Bab es-Salam and Bab al-Hawa (both on the border of Syria and Turkey), Al-Yarubiya (on the Iraqi border) and “Al-Ramta” (on the Jordanian border).
As the Syrian army began to establish control over more and more territory, Damascus and Moscow began advocating the gradual restriction of border crossings. Currently, only one border crossing “Bab al-Hawa” operates within the framework of the mechanism. It will expire on 10 July 2023. While Western countries are calling for the increase of checkpoints operating under this mechanism, the Syrian authorities want all humanitarian aid in the country to be distributed by Damascus through the contact lines.
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