France is attempting to broker the passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution it has drafted for a Syria cease-fire and humanitarian aid deliveries in the embattled city of Aleppo.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet in Moscow with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on October 6.
Moscow did not provide details about the agenda of the meeting, which comes in the midst of increased tensions between Moscow and the West over Russian support for Syrian government attacks on Aleppo’s rebel-held neighborhoods.
But France’s Foreign Ministry said on October 5 that Ayrault would try to convince Russia to support a new UN Security Council resolution aimed at “opening the path for a cease-fire in Aleppo and aid access” for civilians.
Ayrault said he would tell Lavrov that the situation in the besieged city of Aleppo is unacceptable and cannot continue.
The French Foreign Ministry also said Ayrault would travel to Washington on October 7, after his talks in Moscow, in an attempt to persuade Washington to support the French initiative.
Meanwhile, a United Nations expert says analysis of satellite imagery shows that an air strike was responsible for a deadly attack on an aid convoy in Syria last month.
"With our analysis we determined it was an air strike," said Lars Bromley, a researcher at UNOSAT, a UN body that collects and analyses satellite images.
Bromley said on October 5 that UNOSAT had an image that "clearly" showed the damage at the site of the September 19 attack.
Some 20 people were killed in the attack that hit an aid convoy near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
The United States has blamed Russian warplanes for the attack, which also destroyed 18 trucks, a warehouse, and a clinic.
Moscow denied the charge and said the convoy caught fire.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said last week that he was setting up a board of inquiry into the attack.
Based on reporting by AFP, AP, TASS, Interfax, and Reuters