October 3 2022 1:34 PM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Turkey tackles Russian resistance to Syria border access

Displaced injured Syrians seek alms on street in the rebel-held city of al-Bab northwest of Aleppo in northern Syria, on June 23, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
Displaced injured Syrians seek alms on street in the rebel-held city of al-Bab northwest of Aleppo in northern Syria, on June 23, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
ISTANBUL, Turkey — Turkey on Wednesday said it wanted the sole border crossing for aid into Syria to remain open, adding that it was holding talks at the UN Security Council to address Russia's reluctance. اضافة اعلان

The Bab Al-Hawa crossing from Turkey into Syria will close on July 10 unless it receives authorization to stay open for another year by the United Nations Security Council, where Russia wields veto power.

Russia, a major ally of President Bashar Al-Assad, prefers to see the aid delivered from Damascus, arguing that the existing crossing is used to supply rebel fighters with arms.

Turkey has supported rebel fighters against Assad throughout the decade-long conflict and has a military presence in northern Syria.

"The UN Security Council should extend the mandate concerning this border crossing," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in the southern Turkish resort of Antalya.

"What can we do to overcome Russia's hesitations? We are also holding talks with the UN Security Council members," he said. "This is a humanitarian issue, not a political one."

The United States warned on Monday that Russia would put at risk hopes for more constructive relations if it used its UN veto to shut the border crossing. 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week urged all Security Council nations to reach a consensus to preserve the crossing, which allows aid to reach some three million people living in Syria's Idlib region.

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