World News

Russian Federation says ready to approve amended United Nations resolution on Syrian ceasefire

Russian Federation says ready to approve amended United Nations resolution on Syrian ceasefire

United Nations diplomats are today negotiating a resolution calling for a 30-day truce in the besieged Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, as bombing extends into its fifth successive day.

Syrian state TV reported that insurgents fired 70 shells on Damascus, killing one person and wounding 60 others.

The number of casualties has overwhelmed rescuers and doctors at hospitals, many of which have also been bombed.

The UN draft resolution demands that as soon as the ceasefire takes effect, all parties should allow humanitarian convoys and medical evacuations in areas requested by the UN.

UN Security Council (UNSC) diplomats are "almost there" in reaching a deal with Russian Federation on a 30-day ceasefire in Syria, the council president said on Friday.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on February 21 said "It's time to take immediate action in the hopes of saving the lives of the men, women, and children who are under attack by the barbaric Assad regime".

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But Sweden and Kuwait, which sponsored the resolution, have been pressing for immediate action as deaths mount in a Syrian bombing campaign in the rebel-held suburbs of eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

They rejected a key Russian-proposed amendment that would have ruled out an immediate ceasefire.

Whether Russia vetoes or abstains on the resolution remains to be seen.

Russian Federation has been a main backer for Syrian President Bashar Assad and has joined the battle on his side since 2015, tipping the balance of power in his favor.

"Therefore, unless Americans and their allies are driven by a desire to cloud the atmosphere and create additional excuses to push their idea of ousting the regime in Syria, but if they are driven by concern over the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta, there is every opportunity for the agreement to be achieved", Lavrov added.

Zeina Karam is an Associated Press writer.


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