A hastily scheduled Security Council meeting was canceled because the U.S. does not want to make public details of the Syrian cease-fire deal, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations said Friday.
Vitaly Churkin said there was no point in briefing the council if the U.S. did not want to say exactly what was in the documents outlining the deal hammered out last week by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“This briefing is not going to happen and mostly likely we’re not going to have a resolution of the Security Council because the United States does not want to share those documents with the members of the Security Council and we believe that we cannot ask them to support a document which they haven’t seen,” Churkin said.
Churkin said Thursday that Russia hoped the Security Council could pass a resolution endorsing the deal next week during the high-level meeting of the General Assembly. But he said that the U.S. was uncooperative, constantly trying to modify whatever text of a draft resolution the Russians presented them with.
“Clearly there is lack of unity in the U.S. administration but it was Secretary Kerry who was negotiating on the instructions of President Obama, clearly a deal was made and we expect it to be implemented,” Churkin said.
In Washington, a U.S. official said the session was canceled because the Russians were trying to force the U.S. to make the cease-fire deal public.
“The United States will not compromise operational security,” said the official, who wasn’t authorized to be quoted by name and demanded anonymity.
Later on Friday, the U.S. Mission issued a statement saying they believed the Security Council could play an important role in resolving the Syrian crisis.
“However, right now we are focused on the implementation of the agreement … particularly the urgent need for humanitarian aid to reach Syrians in need. Since we could not agree on an approach to briefing the Council that would not compromise the operational security of the arrangement, the meeting was canceled,” the statement said.
Associated Press writer Bradley Klapper contributed to this report from Washington D.C.