Russia pushes for U.N. Security Council backing of Syria deal

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By Michelle Nichols | UNITED NATIONS

UNITED NATIONS Russia is pushing for the United Nations Security Council to adopt a draft resolution next week endorsing a Syria ceasefire deal agreed by Moscow and Washington, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.

The deal reached on Saturday aims to put Syria’s peace process back on track. It includes a nationwide truce that started at sundown on Monday, improved humanitarian aid access and joint military targeting of banned Islamist groups.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry agreed five documents, which they said would not be publicly released. However, France called on Washington to share details of the deal on Thursday.

Churkin said Russia was working on a draft Security Council resolution that would endorse the deal. When asked if the deal would need to be annexed to such a resolution, he said: “We don’t know yet.”

“We’re working on it … I think we need to adopt it on the 21st (of September), this would make sense,” Churkin told reporters.

The 15-member Security Council is due to hold a high-level meeting on Syria next Wednesday during the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations. Kerry and Lavrov are expected to attend, diplomats said.

Syrian government forces and rebels had yet to withdraw from a road needed to deliver aid to the city of Aleppo on Thursday, threatening the Russia-U.S. peacemaking effort as the sides accused each other of violating a truce.

(Additional reporting by John Irish; Editing by Paul Simao)