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International Observers in Aleppo without Russian Veto | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir attends the Arab Foreign Ministers extraordinary meeting to discuss the Syrian crisis in Cairo, Egypt December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

New York, Cairo – The Security Council requested on Monday the United Nations and other relevant institutions to carry out “adequate, neutral monitoring and direct observation on evacuations from the eastern districts” of war-battered Aleppo.

Based on a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council requested the U.N. to ensure further deployment of staff to monitor and report on the evacuations, as needed and demanded all parties to provide these monitors with safe, immediate and unimpeded access.

Russia had planned to veto the original French draft over concerns about sending U.N. monitors unprepared into “the ruins of eastern Aleppo,” U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said.

Russia wanted U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to arrange security for U.N. monitors to enter eastern Aleppo “in coordination” with interested parties, meaning the Syrian regime. The council agreed that such arrangements would be made “in consultation” with interested parties.

A statement issued by the U.N. News Center said that noting that “urgent humanitarian evacuations and assistance are now needed by a large number of Aleppo inhabitants,” the Council demanded that all parties provide the U.N. and its implementation partners with safe, immediate and unimpeded access to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches people “through the most direct route, in order to meet basic needs, including the provision of medical care.”

The French-led resolution also calls on all parties to respect and protect all medical and humanitarian personnel, “their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities throughout the country.”

Meanwhile, Arab foreign ministers welcomed on Monday the United Nations Security Council resolution to quickly deploy U.N. observers to Aleppo, the Arab League said in a statement.

The ministers’ resolution was issued following an emergency meeting in Cairo over Aleppo late on Monday.

The League “expresses its deep concern for the evil aggression launched by the Syrian regime and its allies against unarmed civilians in Aleppo,” the foreign ministers said in the resolution.