Norway and Ireland drafted a resolution on Friday concerning the authorization of the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria across Syria’s borders with Turkey and Iraq. The resolution proposes to keep the Bab Al-Hawa crossing active, restore aid deliveries through the Al-Yaroubiya crossing point from Iraq, and extend the six-month mandate with one year. Security Council officials are expected to discuss the proposed resolution early next week.
Russian authorities criticized Western donors for threatening to cut humanitarian financing for Syria unless the mandate for Bab Al-Hawa is not extended.
Aside from efforts to save lifesaving cross-border aid operations, the UN Special Envoy for Syria called to launch new international talks regarding exchanging prisoners and a nationwide cease-fire. Geir Pedersen said that Syria’s warring parties can reach a common ground on mentioned areas and the timing is right to launch talks due to the relative, yet fragile, calm on the ground in Syria.
Pedersen referred to a past rocket attack in Afrin and shelling in the south of Idlib, citing the developments as “alarming signs of escalation”. He additionally spoke about the possibility of Daesh/ISIS’ resurgence and economic destruction in the country.
The envoy informed that he has been in regular contact with senior officials from Russia as well as many countries on the 15-member Security Council and key states in the region. Meetings will take place on the foreign ministry-level in Rome. Pedersen will also head to Moscow and consult Turkey and Iran before the Astana meetings, which will take place in early July.