U.N. mulls proposal to reopen Iraq crossing for pandemic aid to Syria

(Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council is considered a proposal to reopen a border crossing from Iraq into Syria for six months to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to help millions of Syrian civilians combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The 15-member council in January allowed a six-year-long cross-border aid operation to continue from two places in Turkey until July 10, but dropped crossing points from Iraq and Jordan due to opposition by Syrian ally Russia and China.

Germany and Belgium gave the council a draft resolution on Wednesday that would extend approval for the Turkish border crossings for one year and reopen the Iraq crossing for six months.

The draft text also gives the council an option to extend the approval for the Iraq crossing for another six months based on an evaluation of the impact of the coronavirus in Syria by U.N. chief Antonio Guterres later in the year.

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