Security Council Session on Syria Ceasefire
by Stephen Lendman
At Russia’s request, Security Council members will meet in closed session Friday afternoon to discuss Syria ceasefire terms – agreed on by Russia, Iran, Turkey and Damascus.
According to Reuters, a draft resolution will be considered, announced by Moscow and Ankara on Thursday, a possible Saturday vote to follow.
If SC members recommend changes, most likely they “can be easily absorbed into the draft,” Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin explained.
Seven major opposition groups agreed to the ceasefire. Others aren’t on board yet. Sergey Lavrov said groups failing to comply will be considered terrorists and dealt with appropriately.
According to the Istanbul-based Daily Sabah, draft resolution terms to be considered, subject to revisions, state the following:
1. Ceasefire will be declared throughout Syria except in areas controlled by UN-designated terrorist groups and others where terms are violated – to continue as long as the political process remains ongoing.
2. Turkey guarantees compliance in all areas controlled by opposition elements agreeing to the deal.
3. Russia guarantees to cease aerial bombardments in these areas. Syrian ground and air operations will halt except in areas controlled by UN-designated terrorist groups.
4. Russia and Turkey will assure opposition groups make no attempt to seize new territory while ceasefire remains in force.
5. Both countries will decide on proper monitoring arrangements.
6. If after one month ceasefire holds, conflict resolution talks will begin.
7. Russia and Turkey guarantee delivery of humanitarian aid to all war-torn areas in need.
Putin and Erdogan discussed arrangements by phone a numerous times before Russia’s president’s announced the ceasefire and Friday’s afternoon Security Council session.
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