United Nations backs Syria peace resolution

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The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution supporting efforts by Russia and Turkey to end the nearly six-year conflict in Syria and jump start peace negotiations.

The resolution approved Saturday afternoon also calls for the “rapid, safe and unhindered” delivery of humanitarian aid throughout Syria. And it looks forward to a meeting of the Syrian government and opposition representative in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, in late January.

Western members of the council had sought changes to the draft resolution circulated by Russia and Turkey during consultations Saturday morning to clarify the role of the U.N. and the meaning of the agreement brokered by Moscow and Ankara.

The final text dropped an endorsement of the agreement. And it changed the draft to call the Astana meeting “an important step ahead of the resumption of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva on Feb. 8, 2017.”