Live updates

Advertisement

UN makes first Syrian aid air drop

The UN has confirmed it has successfully carried out its first Syrian aid air drop into the besieged city of Deir Ezzor.

Previously the UN has been reliant on driving aid in Credit: REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

Relief chief Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council on Wednesday that a plane carrying 21 tonnes of humanitarian items had dispatched its cargo as planned as the organisation begins to use air drops as a way to effectively deliver humanitarian aid.

He said: "A WFP plane dropped the first cargo of 21 tonnes of items into Deir Ezzor.We have received initial reports from the SARC team on the ground that pallets have landed in the target area as planned."

Advertisement

Russia 'can easily' work with all sides over Syria crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin Credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow can easily work with all sides involved in efforts to resolve the conflict Syria, including the United States and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russian news agencies have reported.

"Regarding the Syrian crisis, we find it easy to work both with President Assad and the American side. I have recently spoken about this with (US.) President (Barack) Obama, and with our friends from Saudi Arabia, and from other Arab nations", Mr Putin is quoted.

The comments are reported to have been from a new documentary which will be broadcast on Russian television on Sunday.

Philip Hammond welcomes UN Security Council Syria resolution

Philip Hammond welcomed the UN Security Council resolution Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has welcomed the the UN Security Council resolution on a Syria peace plan, calling it a "great step forward".

Syria has for too long been the world’s biggest humanitarian and security crisis.

The international community has now come together to work to end the bloody civil war in Syria and has paved the way for talks amongst the Syrian parties that will see a transition away from the murderous regime of Assad.

This resolution gives us a timetable and a clear way forward. Of course there are many challenges ahead but the world has taken a great step forward to resolving the Syrian crisis.

– Philip Hammond, foreign secretary

Syria unity government talks 'to start in January'

Russia's Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at a joint news conference Credit: Reuters

There must be decisions on what kind of transitional unity government Syria should have within the next month or two, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has said.

Speaking at a news conference following the passing of the UN resolution on Syria, he said that talks between the Syrian opposition and the administration of Bashar al-Assad aimed at reaching agreement on a unity government for Syria were not likely to start before mid to late January.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, who spoke alongside Kerry, said it would be possible to reach an agreement on a unity government within six months.

Iran aligns with Russia in push for Syria deal

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to members of the UN Security Council Credit: Reuters

Iran has decided to unify its position on Syria with that of Russia in the push for a political deal to end Syria's civil war, according to Iranian officials.

That suggests Iran could ease its opposition to the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as part of any agreement.

Both Russia and Iran have insisted Assad should only step down if he is voted out in an eventual election, but while maintaining its backing for Assad in public, Russia has recently made clear to Western nations that it has no objection to Assad stepping down as part of a peace process, diplomats said.

Reuters quoted one senior Iranian official as saying: "What was agreed was Iran and Russia will pursue one policy which will benefit Tehran, Moscow and Damascus."

Load more updates