U.N. Security Council to Vote on Humanitarian Aid to Aleppo

BEIRUT (AP) -
People walk past the damaged Coral Julia Dumna Hotel in the government controlled Old City of Aleppo, Syria December 17, 2016. REUTERS/ Omar Sanadiki
People walk past the damaged Coral Julia Dumna Hotel in the government-controlled Old City of Aleppo, Dec. 17. (Reuters/Omar Sanadiki)

The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on a resolution demanding immediate and unconditional access for the United Nations and its partners to besieged parts of Aleppo and throughout Syria to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The council scheduled consultations Sunday morning on the French-drafted resolution followed by an open meeting where members are expected to vote.

The draft resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, calls on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to immediately redeploy U.N. staff already on the ground to carry out “neutral monitoring” and “direct observation and to report on evacuations.”

It stresses that evacuations of civilians “must be voluntary and to destinations of their choice.”

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Friday he would examine the draft but was skeptical that monitors could be deployed quickly.