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UN Security Council delays vote on Syria ceasefire

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By Euronews
UN Security Council delays vote on Syria ceasefire
Copyright  REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

The United Nations Security Council has once again pushed back a vote on a Syrian ceasefire resolution.

The vote on the 30-day ceasefire, which has already been delayed several times, is now scheduled for Saturday.

The 24-hour delay came after Russia, a veto-holding ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, proposed new amendments to the resolution drafted by Sweden and Kuwait. 

Delegates in favour of the resolution say it is crucial to allow aid deliveries and medical evacuations.

 Ambassador Olof Skoog, Sweden's Permanent Representative to the UN, voiced his anger at the delay. 

"I'm extremely frustrated with the fact that the Security Council, that we have not been able to adopt the resolution to try to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people. Yes, I'm very frustrated with that," he said. 

Russia, however, says it is concerned that a ceasefire agreement will not be honored by all parties engaged in the fighting.

"Where are the guarantees that [the rebels] will stick to this humanitarian pause and where are the guarantees that they will not continue shooting at Damascus residential areas? We are not given such guarantees," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. 

The draft resolution is aimed at ending the carnage in the rebel-held enclave of Ghouta.

Pro-government warplanes have been pounding the densely populated area for days, and at least 462 people have been killed, including at least 99 children.

It has quickly become one of the deadliest bombing campaigns of the seven-year civil war.