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                                        Volume. 11928
Russia says UN resolution on Syria aid possible in days
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Syria99(28).jpgRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday a UN resolution on humanitarian aid access in Syria could be agreed in days if Security Council members do not try to "politicize" the issue, the Interfax news agency reported, according to Reuters. 
 
Moscow criticized a Western-Arab draft resolution and proposed its own text as well as another one that would condemn acts of "terrorism" in civil war-torn Syria, saying it was ready for negotiations in the council.
 
"If nobody in the Security Council seeks to politicize this issue, to promote one-sided approaches, I am convinced we will be able to reach an agreement in the coming days," Lavrov told a meeting of Persian Gulf states in Kuwait, Interfax reported.
 
UN aid chief Valerie Amos has urged the Security Council to act to increase humanitarian access in Syria.
 
Moscow dismissed the Western-Arab text as an unjust attempt to put the blame solely on Damascus for the humanitarian crisis in Syria, where the United Nations say some 9.3 million people, or nearly half of the country's population, need help.
 
That draft has been merged with the Russian text but the council is still trying to find common ground on central points, including a threat of targeted sanctions and cross-border aid access, diplomats said on Tuesday.
 
Lavrov said on Monday that Russia, a permanent Security Council member with veto power, would not let the world body adopt a resolution allowing aid convoys to enter Syria without the consent of the Damascus government.
 
Meanwhile, nearly a dozen civilians were evacuated from besieged parts of the Syrian city of Homs Wednesday before the operation was halted because of shots fired by "armed men", the governor told AFP.
 
"The operation allowed the evacuation of 11 civilians from Bustan al-Diwan and Al-Hameidiya," Governor Talal Barazi said, but it was halted because of "obstruction by armed men who opened fire at the crossing".
 
He added that the evacuation had not been coordinated with the United Nations but with "elders and clerics".
 
Barazi had earlier told state TV that most of those evacuated were women, children and the elderly.
 
The United Nations and Syria's Red Crescent began operations to evacuate trapped civilians and deliver aid inside besieged parts of Homs on February 7.
 
The operation has allowed out some 1,400 of the estimated 3,000 people trapped in Homs for more than 18 months that forced residents to survive on little more than olives and wild plants.
 
The work was made possible by a ceasefire that was extended twice, but expired on Saturday night.
 
Barazi had said Sunday that "armed groups" prevented the operation from resuming. It was not possible to confirm the claim.
 
The local ceasefire in Homs came about despite the failure of the latest round of Geneva peace talks aimed at ending the nearly three-year conflict, which has claimed an estimated 140,000 lives.

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