ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The foreign ministers of Ireland, Norway and Turkey have said Turkish aid deliveries to rebel-held northwest Syria must continue, warning Wednesday of a humanitarian crisis if the only remaining border gate were closed.
Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN told the UN Security Council that Moscow saw no reason to continue humanitarian aid deliveries through the Bab al-Hawa border gate. He accused the West and the United Nations of insufficient efforts to channel such aid from Damascus, the Syrian capital. The UN Security Council is due to vote on July 10 on whether to continue allowing cross-border aid from Turkey.
Ireland and Norway, two non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, worked together to keep the Bab al-Hawa crossing open. Their foreign ministers visited the border area on Wednesday before meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt told reporters at a joint press conference that 4 million Syrians needed the humanitarian aid crossing the border, warning that the situation in Syria was going “to bad worse”.
Cavusoglu said he discussed aid deliveries with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during their talks in Ankara last week.
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“We will continue our efforts to persuade the Russian side in the coming period,” he said.
In early July 2020, China and Russia vetoed a UN resolution that would have maintained two border crossing points from Turkey to deliver humanitarian aid to Syria’s Idlib province. A few days later, the council authorized the delivery of aid through only one of these crossing points, Bab al-Hawa. This one-year term was extended for one year on July 9, 2021.
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