Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday urged his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to extend the authorization for cross-border deliveries of humanitarian aid into Syria, Agence France-Presse reported.
His appeal came as diplomats scrambled to find a solution that could overcome a Russian veto to a system that has kept aid flowing into the war-ravaged country since 2014.
“Erdogan emphasised that he attaches importance to the extension of the cross-border mechanism in Syria,” his office said in a statement issued after telephone talks following the expiry Sunday of the mechanism.
The Turkish-Syria border at the Bab al-Hawa crossing is the only way UN assistance can reach civilians without navigating areas controlled by Syrian government forces.
Russia, an ally of the Syrian regime, used its veto power on the UN Security Council to strike down Western proposals to keep the border crossing open for another year.
The standoff came with diplomatic tensions at historic highs since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Security Council has previously extended the cross-border mechanism after it had expired, and several sources said a vote was still possible this week.