Russian, US envoys see Syria deal as ‘important moment’ for ties

Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow (Credit: twitter.com/JosepBorrellF)

United Nations, July 10 (IANS) The Russian and US Ambassadors to the UN are of the opinion that the adoption of a Resolution on Syria by the Security Council is an “important moment for their countries’ relations.

The Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a Rsolution on the re-authorisation of the cross-border aid mechanism for Syrians after Russia and the US reached a compromise in last-minute talks, reports Xinhua news agency.

By Thursday, the Security Council was set to vote on two competing draft resolutions: one tabled by Ireland and Norway, the co-penholders of the issue, and the other tabled by Russia.

The Ireland-Norway text seeks a 12-month extension of the cross-border mechanism, while the Russian text would allow an extension of only six months.

Russia and the US were able to bridge the differences in the two drafts and jointly tabled the final text together with Ireland and Norway.

This is the first time since 2016 that the Security Council acted unanimously on the Syria humanitarian file.

On Friday, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia described the deal as a historical moment.

“Today, we are witnessing a historical moment. For the first time, Russia and the US not only managed to find an agreement, but to present a joint text, which was supported by all our colleagues in the council.

“We expect that this kind of day would become a turning point that not only Syria will win from this, but the Middle Eastern region as a whole, and the world as a whole,” he told the Security Council after the vote.

“We are grateful for this to all members of the council. We’re grateful to our American colleagues who were working in the spirit of the agreements achieved during the Geneva summit between Presidents (Vladimir) Putin and (Joe) Biden.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador, said Friday’s deal was an important moment in her country’s relationship with Moscow.

“I certainly see it as an important moment in our relationship. And it shows that what we can do with the Russians if we work with them diplomatically on common goals. And this was a common goal that we were able to come to an agreement on.

“And I look forward to looking for other opportunities to work with the Russians on issues of common interest to our two governments,” she told reporters after the adoption of the Syria Resolution.

The UN welcomed the statements from the two envoys.

Asked for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ comment on this issue, Stephane Dujarric, his chief spokesman, said: “There is nothing that we’d like more than close, positive and productive cooperation between members of the Security Council, between the permanent members of the Security Council, and between the US and the Russian Federation.”

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