World powers agree on peace in Syria
The UN Security Council adopted yesterday a resolution on Aleppo, which determines the procedure for conducting humanitarian operations in the second largest Syrian city. Agreement on the evacuation of civilians and armed opposition groups, which will be implemented under the supervision of international observers, are the result of a difficult compromise. Final version of UN security Council resolution drawn up on the basis of two projects — Russian and French, merge that before seemed impossible. The transition from confrontation to cooperation could mark a turning point in the efforts of international diplomacy to establish peace in Syria and to contribute to reducing tension in relations between Russia and the West.
The adoption by UN security Council resolution on Aleppo occurred after the second-largest Syrian city, at the end of last week completely passed under the control of government troops, according to the preliminary agreement of the parties, the evacuation of civilians and armed opposition.
Confirmation that the process of returning to civilian life is gaining momentum, was carried out yesterday the removal of Aleppo, about 1200 fighters and members of their families. At the same time from the Shiite villages of al-Fua and Kefraya, located in North-Western province of Idlib, in Aleppo, came a convoy of buses and cars of the red cross and red Crescent with civilians and wounded soldiers of the defenders of the enclaves — the soldiers of the armed forces that support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
El Foix and Kefraya in which live about 50 thousand Shiites for more than three years were blocked by the armed opposition, with the result that in the enclaves there was a threat of a humanitarian catastrophe. In this regard, the warring sides agreed that the evacuation of Aleppo, al-Foy and Kefraya will be carried out simultaneously: while the fighters and their families would leave Aleppo, the city will be delivered to the residents of El-Fua and Kefraya.
On the background of the cessation of hostilities and the first steps to remedy the critical situation in the dilapidated Aleppo, the UN Security Council launched a new attempt to adopt a resolution on the conditions of the city of humanitarian operations under international control.
Recall that less than two weeks ago, the attempt to adopt a resolution on ceasefire in Aleppo resulted in the exchange of accusations and diplomatic confrontation in which Russia and China cast a double veto on a draft resolution initiated by Western countries.
Even on Sunday there was no reason to believe that this time will not be able to avoid the usual war of words that could lead the world powers to a diplomatic impasse: Russia and France introduced a security Council two alternative draft resolution. In the case if Moscow was blocked by the French version of the document, Paris threatened to convene an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly.
In the end, however, a new round of confrontation was avoided. According to the results of Sunday’s debate side suddenly showed extremely rare for Security Council unanimity.
“We did a good job for a few hours, and I think that as a result we have a good text,” said Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin. Answering the question about the admission of international observers in Aleppo, he assured that “everything will be fine.”
In turn, the U.S. permanent representative to the UN Samantha Power said that the Russian and American delegations worked “very constructively” with the result that based on two projects (Russian and French) the final version of the resolution “contains all the key provisions that will allow you to organize the monitoring of the UN” international humanitarian operations in Aleppo.
As explained by Ms. Power, for these purposes, in Aleppo will involve over a hundred UN staff and employees of the International Committee of the red cross and the Syrian red Crescent society. “The more observers the better. Then they can be in many areas. The Secretary-General have to use as many UN members as he can,” said US Ambassador, adding that “we must act immediately, as people starve, freeze, many left their homes and they have nothing.”
The content of the resolution revealed the Ambassador of France Francois Delacr. “The project we agreed, based on three elements: it is a safe evacuation in accordance with international humanitarian law, immediate and unimpeded access of humanitarian assistance of the UN and the protection of medical institutions and staff. All this-under the supervision of the UN,” said Mr. Delater.
Details of how it was possible to reach a compromise in new York, revealed “Kommersant” a senior source in the foreign Ministry. “The goal of Russian efforts every time there is a discussion of the draft UN security Council resolutions on Syria, is that of the anti-Assad agitation to make a working document that would facilitate progress towards a peaceful settlement. So it was when working on a project proposed by France. In the end, it is not reduced to some Russian amendments, took place exactly a joint work on the text of the document”, – explained the interlocutor of Kommersant.
The unanimous adoption of the draft resolution of the UN Security Council became the first such vote after the battle for Aleppo, which many call the turning point of the war in Syria. The fact that the Russian and French projects in the end managed to combine the shows: the world powers are gradually moving from rigid opposing each other to seek mutually acceptable transition to the settlement of the conflict.
According to respondents ‘ b ‘ experts, the transition from confrontation to cooperation in the security Council that took place during yesterday’s vote could be a turning point in the efforts of international diplomacy to establish peace in Syria and to contribute to reducing tension in relations between Russia and the West.
“For the first time in a long time, representatives of Russia and the Western powers in the UN security Council didn’t exchange attacks against each other, and worked together on a mutually acceptable document. It is possible that the capture of Aleppo has become a watershed, defining a further vector of development of the situation in Syria. Western leaders were finally convinced that the course for the speedy overthrow of Bashar al-Assad has stalled. So, it is necessary not to increase pressure, and negotiate. And agree primarily with Moscow”, – says “Kommersant” Director of the center “Russia-the East-the West” Vladimir Sotnikov.
Sergey Strokan, Maksim Yusin