Key chaired a heated Security Council session on Syria in which the
US called for all planes to be grounded in key areas of the country
to save the truce there, following
an attack on an aid convoy.
the session in New York, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the
future of Syria was "hanging by a thread". He said an
attack on Monday, which killed 20 civilians, had raised profound
doubt over whether Russia and the Syrian government would live up to
terms of the ceasefire deal.
has denied being involved. An impassioned Mr Kerry faced off with
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying the bombing of the aid
convoy raised "profound doubt whether Russia and the Assad
regime can or will live up to" ceasefire obligations. Listening
to Mr Lavrov made him feel like he was living in a "parallel
universe", Mr Kerry said.
Secretary of State John Kerry during the Security Council
meeting. Photo: AFP
Lavrov, for his part, called for an independent investigation into
the convoy attack, and said all parties needed to take simultaneous
steps to stop the war.
Russian defence ministry now says a US strike drone was in the area
when the aid convoy was struck.
Igor Konashenkov did not directly accuse the US of firing on convoy
from a drone but pointedly said that such a drone could carry out
high-precision strikes against targets on the ground.
the Security Council meeting, Mr Key said the Syrian civil war was
the most devastating conflict of the 21st century and no other other
issue more urgently demanded the attention of world leaders.
conflict had created security threats that reach well beyond Syria's
borders and after more than five years of violence, Syria had become
a byword for failure.
of the parties and their supporters to put peace, and the lives of
innocent people ahead of self-interest and zero-sum politics. Failure
to respond to the crisis early to prevent this tragedy. And a
collective political failure, including by this Council, to do what
must be done to end the conflict.
problem was not a lack of direction, he said, as the pathway for
ending this conflict was set out by the Security Council last
December but the timetable for implementing them was never carried
we all need to commit to restoring the cessation of hostilities,
delivering aid to those who need it, and restarting political talks.
week's arrangement between US Secretary of State Kerry and Russian
Foreign Minister Lavrov represents the best hope we have seen in some
encourage Russia and the US to show sustained leadership and not let
this opportunity slip way."
next few days would be critical in restoring the cessation of
hostilities and getting humanitarian aid flowing, he said. "We
urge the Syrian parties to abide by the arrangement. This Council
should unite to back those efforts."
Kerry said Russia should stand up and take responsibility for air
strikes, and British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson all but blamed
the bombing of a UN humanitarian convoy near Aleppo on Russia,
telling the Security Council they were the only ones with warplanes
in the sky.
the meeting, Mr Key would not be drawn on the comments but said the
Council session marked another step along the road to a potential
solution, that began with last week's ceasefire agreement.
said every party involved had a responsibility to put their
individual interests aside, and find a solution.
if the Security Council and the major participants in this dispute
actually can't find a resolution then there's blood on the hands of
everybody: the Security Council, the Assad government, those that are
perpetrators who are trying to violate the ceasefire."
formal resolution was agreed on but Mr Key said it was the "starting
point, not the ending point" and it was still possible a
resolution could be presented by the end of the week.
battles in Syria have been focused in areas that control access to
Aleppo city, where the rebel-held east has been besieged by Russian
and Iranian-backed pro-government forces and completely encircled for
all but a few weeks since July.
state media said the army had recaptured a fertiliser factory in the
Ramousah area to the southwest of the city. The Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights, a monitoring body, confirmed the advance and said
government forces had pressed forward near an apartment complex