UN: Churkin backs de Mistura's Aleppo initiative, slams French SC proposal

Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, Vitali Churkin, said a French-Spanish draft resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities in Aleppo was "very hastily put together" and designed "to cause a Russian veto."
The joint initiative foresees the grounding of all aircraft over Aleppo and a no-fly zone enacted above the embattled city, in addition to the ceasefire.
Speaking to journalists at the UN Headquarters on Friday, Churkin said it was "unprecedented for the members of the Council to ask a permanent member of the Security Council to limits its own activities." The Russian diplomat said he had "the suspicion that the real motive is to cause a Russian veto."
Churkin went on to back a call by UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura for an al-Qaida-linked militant group to leave Aleppo in return for a ceasefire. "There is an initiative which is much more important, de Mistura’s initiative, an initiative which could be fleshed out and supported by the Security Council," Churkin stated.
The Security Council is due to meet on Saturday to vote on the Franco-Spanish draft resolution.

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