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U.S. Ambassador To UN Urges Pressure On Russia Over Syria

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (file photo)
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (file photo)

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has called on the Security Council to apply "all pressure" on Russia to use its influence to end the war in Syria and to help ease the worsening humanitarian crisis there.

"All eyes and all pressure now need to go to Russia, because they are the ones who could stop this if they wanted to," Ambassador Nikki Haley told a council meeting on April 27. "We need to put pressure on Russia."

As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia can reject any resolutions. But Haley said the council should act even in the face a Moscow veto.

“I will continue to press the Security Council to act, to do something, regardless of if the Russians continue to veto it, because it is our voice that needs to be heard," Haley said.

Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose government is engaged in a six-year civil war against antigovernment forces backed by the United States and Turkey.

Syria has been accused of using chemical weapons and of preventing humanitarian supplies from reaching hundreds of thousands of people in rebel-held areas.

Syria and Russia deny the allegations.

Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Petr Iliichev, said Russia, Turkey, and Iran were working to ensure compliance with a Syrian cease-fire. He asked why the United States and its Western allies did not say what they were doing to ease the humanitarian crisis.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP

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