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Russia Says Syria Agrees To Aid Plan

Russia says the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has agreed to open four border crossings to allow in humanitarian aid.

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin made the announcement at the United Nations on June 17.

He declined to disclose details, but diplomats familiar with the plan said it involved using international monitors to inspect humanitarian aid convoys entering Syria across the four border crossings with Iraq, Jordan and Turkey.

But Western diplomats said they need time to study Russia's proposal and consult with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on whether it could work on the ground.

Earlier on June 17, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he had been urging the Security Council to facilitate unimpeded humanitarian access to some 3.5 million hard-to-reach people in Syria.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Itar-Tass