Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution filed by Egypt, Spain, and New Zealand on Monday regarding a peace solution in Syria during a session of the United Nations (UN) security council. This was the sixth veto that Russia used to hinder a resolution that pertains to peace in Syria since 2011.
According to Russian news agency Sputnik, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov commented on the resolution saying that it is “counterproductive”, as it diminishes all the efforts and discussions of Russia and the United States. He added that currently, there can be no truces because the militants may use them to regroup themselves to fight back.
Lavrov further added that once the Russian and US talks on Syria are formalised, rebels who will refuse to leave Aleppo will be equated to terrorists.
After its resolution failed to be adopted, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, saying that it preferred the continuation of discussions on the resolution, rather than rejecting it, particularly because Egypt had worked closely with other member states in the council to reach a potential common ground. However, some member states insisted that the draft resolution be voted on without changing any clauses in it; hence, the member states did not approve it.
The statement further added that Egypt’s permanent envoy to the UN has exerted efforts over the past few weeks to reach consensus regarding putting an end to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, especially that Egypt has clearly announced its stance towards the humanitarian crisis in Syria on multiple occasions and has supported the Syrian people by all means. The statement concluded by calling on the UN security council to continue its efforts to reach a clear vision regarding the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Venezuela voted against the resolution, Angola abstained from voting, while the other 11 member states voted in favour of the resolution.
Russia’s envoy to the UN security council Vitaly Churkin stated that the draft resolution that was filed by Egypt, Spain, and New Zealand did not comply with the framework of the council because the member states were not provided with sufficient time to study it.
The member states have been discussing the resolution for about a month; however, Churkin said that Egypt, Spain, and New Zealand were pressured by the US, France, and the United Kingdom (UK) to start the voting measures.
Churkin concluded saying that no resolution can be currently adopted in the UN security council, particularly that in a few days in Geneva, Russian and US experts will be discussing ways of expelling militants from the areas the latter controls in eastern Aleppo. He also explained the veto decision saying that the draft resolution did not include expelling militants from Aleppo.
The draft resolution that Egypt participated in demanded a seven-day truce in Syria and a ceasefire, and the access of humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of besieged Syrian citizens in Aleppo.
The resolution came amid strikes carried out by Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, along with Russia, that started about a week ago on eastern Aleppo. Al-Assad has gained ground and took over several areas and neighbourhoods in Syria—a progress that has not happened since 2011. However, the rebels managed to fight back on Monday in Al-Mayassar neighbourhood, reportedly attacking a Russian mobile hospital, killing two female doctors.
In October, Shoukry announced in a press conference with his Spanish counterpart that they will file a joint resolution on Syria, along with New Zealand as it is deeply involved in the humanitarian-related issues in Syria.
Egypt voted in favour of a Russian resolution that was filed regarding peace in Syria in October in the UN security council. However, the resolution was vetoed and failed to be adopted. As a result of Egypt’s vote, bilateral relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia were strained.
In an interview with a Portuguese TV channel in November, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said that Egypt supports the will of the Syrian people. However, he explicitly announced for the first time that Egypt supports the Syria Arab Army (SAA) which is affiliated to Al-Assad.