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NZ disappointed by Aleppo truce veto

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/12/2016
Air strike aftermath in Aleppo, 23 Sept: Aleppo has endured a day of devastating air strikes © AFP Aleppo has endured a day of devastating air strikes

A UN Security Council resolution that would have demanded a seven-day truce in Syria's Aleppo, which New Zealand helped draft, has been vetoed with the country's UN representative saying he was "bitterly disappointed".

The resolution, drafted by New Zealand, Egypt and Spain, was vetoed by Russia and China with Venezuela also voting against it.

Angola abstained, while the remaining 11 council members voted in favour.

Russia argued the truce would allow rebels to regroup and that time was needed for talks between Washington and Moscow.

But Gerard van Bohemen, New Zealand's permanent representative to the United Nations, said the council's failure to act was deeply damaging to its reputation and was catastrophic for the people of Syria.

"Today's veto is another indictment on Russia, on those that supported it, and on this council," he said.

"The biggest losers today are those on the ground who, instead of having a chance to restore small parts of their lives, will continue to be subjected to the bombings and blastings that have blighted their lives for so many years."

He said despite the rejection, New Zealand would continue to work to try and protect Syrian civilians.

Russia's veto was the sixth time it had blocked a Security Council resolution on Syria since 2011 and the fifth time China has blocked action.

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