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Russia, China veto extension of cross-border aid in Syria: UN diplomats

Volunteers deliver aid at a camp for displaced Syrians near the town of Deir al-Ballut in Aleppo province, by the border with Turkey, on April 14, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic
Volunteers deliver aid at a camp for displaced Syrians near the town of Deir al-Ballut in Aleppo province, by the border with Turkey, on April 14, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic Rami al SAYED AFP/File
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United Nations (United States) (AFP)

Russia and China on Tuesday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have extended authorization for cross-border humanitarian aid in Syria for a year, diplomats said.

Germany and Belgium, two of the council's non-permanent members, had drafted the resolution, which would have allowed aid to continue to pass through two points on the Turkish border without interference from Damascus.

Beyond Russia and China, the other 13 members of the council voted to approve the draft, the diplomats said.

During negotiations, Moscow had asked that the extension be limited to six months, rather than a year, and that it only be allowed at one border crossing, not two, they said.

Immediately after the vote, Russia proposed its own draft resolution, taking into account its preferred terms, a diplomat told AFP.

The results of a vote on that resolution will be known on Wednesday.

Authorization for cross-border humanitarian aid has existed since 2014, with periodic extensions. The latest extension expires on Friday.

In January, Moscow, Syria's closest ally, succeeded in having the crossing points reduced from four to two and in limiting the authorization to six months instead of a year, as had been done previously.

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