Germany, Kuwait, Belgium urge UN vote on Idlib ceasefire

United Nations, United States, Sept 19 (AFP/APP):Germany, Kuwait and Belgium have demanded that the UN Security Council vote on a resolution for all groups to “immediately cease hostilities” in Syria’s Idlib province, diplomats said Wednesday.

The text of the draft, obtained by AFP, would be voted upon on Thursday, though it could be met with a Russian veto.

The draft calls for a ceasefire beginning on September 21 at noon local time, and says it would help “avoid a further deterioration of the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Idlib.”

The resolution faces strong opposition from Moscow, which countered with its own draft text supported by China, which will also be put to the vote on Thursday.

The Russian version calls for groups to “immediately cease hostilities to avoid a further deterioration of the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Idlib” — but does not commit to an exact date.
It also asserts that the cessation of hostilities “shall not apply to military operations against individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with terrorist groups.”

Western nations find the wording unacceptable as it allows too much room for interpretation and may not stop the bombing of civilians.

A deal Russia and Turkey reached last year on Idlib was meant to prevent a bloodbath, but bombardment since late April has claimed a mounting death toll.

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