No deal on anti-Syria resolution at UNSC meeting

No deal on anti-Syria resolution at UNSC meeting
Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:54:02

UN Security Council envoys from Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States have held talks on the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, but no agreement was reached.

“They discussed elements that could go into a resolution” on Syria, said a UN diplomat, referring to the 45-minute meeting between the council’s veto-wielding permanent members on Wednesday.

"Everyone set out their position but there were no real negotiations," the UN diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had said earlier that the failure to halt atrocities in war-torn Syria had stained the reputation of the world body and the Security Council powers.

On Tuesday, France, Britain and the United States had pressed for a Council resolution that would impose tough consequences should Damascus fail to hand over control of its banned chemical weapons.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it would be "unacceptable" for the 15-nation Council to pass a text that puts the blame on the Syrian government for an August 21 attack in the Damascus suburbs. The Syrian government has completely ruled out any involvement in the heinous chemical attack.

A Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday was canceled at the last minute at Moscow's request.

France has indicated it is ready to modify, within limits, its draft resolution but intends to keep the military option on the table as a means of pressuring the Syrian government.

At Russia's urging, Damascus has said it wants to put its arsenal of chemical weapons under international supervision in compliance with the 1993 convention banning the weapons.

Russia has provided the United States with a plan for controlling the weapons, to be discussed Thursday in Geneva by the US and Russian foreign ministers, according to a Russian government source.


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