By Safvan Allahverdi
WASHINGTON (AA) - The UN Security Council (UNSC) on Friday postponed the vote on a resolution calling for a one-month humanitarian ceasefire in Syria due to failing to reach a consensus on negotiations with Russia.
No consensus has been reached until now, and talks still continue, Kuwait's Ambassador to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi told reporters after the closed-door meeting at the UN headquarter, adding that the vote will start at 12:00 local time [18.00 GMT] on Saturday.
On Thursday, the UNSC also convened to discuss the situation in Eastern Ghouta -- a suburb of Damascus under siege by forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime -- and submit a proposal.
However, Russia said it will not support the resolution unless some changes are made.
Describing the proposal as "not realistic", Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, claimed that "thousands of terrorists" remain in Eastern Ghouta and its fight against terrorism would continue.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, once again slammed Russia after the UNSC failed to reach a conclusion.
"Unbelievable that Russia is stalling a vote on a ceasefire allowing humanitarian access in Syria," Haley said in a tweet.
"How many more people will die before the The Security Council agrees to take up this vote? Let’s do this tonight. The Syrian people can’t wait."
The proposal calls for a ceasefire to distribute humanitarian aid in Syria nationwide and the medical evacuation of 700 people particularly in East Ghouta, which is under the siege of the Bashar al-Assad regime.
A Security Council resolution requires nine affirmative votes total, and no veto from any of the five permanent members. The five permanent members are the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China.
Eastern Ghouta has been under siege for five years and humanitarian access to the area, which is home to 400,000 people, has been completely cut off. Hundreds of thousands are in urgent need of medical attention.
In the past eight months, forces of the Assad regime have intensified their siege of Eastern Ghouta, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.