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UN Security Council to vote on West-backed and Russian-Chinese draft resolutions on Idlib

The UN Security Council may vote on two draft resolutions on Thursday aimed at improving situation in Syria’s Idlib governorate, a diplomatic source at the organization told TASS on Wednesday.

The first draft was submitted by the trio of Germany, Belgium and Kuwait, the second – by Russia and China.

“Kuwait, Germany and Belgium, as co-curators of this issue in the Security Council submitted for a vote a draft resolution, calling for cessation of hostilities and improvement of humanitarian situation in Idlib,” the source said. “At the same time, Russia and China came up with their own draft resolution.”

A monthly UN Security Council session devoted to humanitarian situation and political settlement in Syria is scheduled to begin at 10:00 local time (17:00 Moscow time) on September 19. The 15 Council members are expected to vote on the draft resolutions in the beginning of the meeting.

The documents, copies of which had been obtained by TASS, contain contradicting estimates of the situation in Idlib, so it is possible that both of them will be vetoed.

The Russian-Chinese draft, among other things, expresses concern about conflicting information in UN data regarding the facilities reported to be civilian under the deconfliction system. Besides, the document states that cessation of hostilities cannot be applied to operations against terrorist groups active in Syria.

In late July, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres resolved to set up the United Nations Board on Inquiry in northwest Syria, which will begin its work on September 30. An inquiry for such a probe was issued by ten members of the UN Security Council, namely the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Germany, Belgium, Peru, Poland, Kuwait, the Dominican Republic, and Indonesia.

The Russian foreign ministry described this decision as provocative. Moreover, it called to question the secretary general’s competences for taking such decision without the UN Security Council’s approval. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres assured on September 18 that the investigation will be objective and impartial and expressed hope that the governments of Russia and Syria would assist it.

Earlier this week, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia demonstrated images of unscathed civilian facilities, which, according to some of the organization’s officials, were damaged in Russian airstrikes.

He also said that Moscow was ready to share all information it had on the incidents in Idlib with the United Nations.

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