Turkey, Russia and Iran to hold summit on Syria next week

Kristopher Drake
November 17, 2017

Eleven of the council's 15 members voted in favor of the US-drafted resolution, while Egypt and China abstained.

After almost two weeks of negotiations, the two sides failed to bridge differences and the United States called for a vote on its draft resolution. After the council voted on the United States draft, Bolivia then requested that the body vote on the Russian text. United States envoy to the UN Nikki Haley warned after the council vote on Thursday: "We will do it again if we must".

Britain's United Nations ambassador told reporters Tuesday that it's extremely important that everyone who uses chemical weapons in Syria or elsewhere is held accountable, and the JIM is crucial in determining responsibility.

Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the USA draft resolution was not balanced.

Describing Iran, Russia and Turkey as the three "guarantor" countries, he said the talks would look at what they could do for a lasting political solution in Syria.

In its draft, Russian Federation insisted that the panel's findings on Khan Sheikhun be put aside to allow for another "full-scale and high-quality investigation" by the JIM, which would be extended for a year.

Syrian ally Russian Federation withdrew its own rival draft resolution to renew the inquiry, formally known as the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), after losing a rare procedural vote for its text to be considered after the council voted on the United States draft. Later, the United States reviewed its draft to include some of the provisions from the Russian document. The vote was expected to take place later on Thursday.

Previous reports by the JIM have found that Syrian government forces were responsible for chlorine attacks on three villages in 2014 and 2015, and that the Islamic State (IS) militant group used mustard gas in 2015.

US President Donald Trump had urged all Security Council members to renew the mandate to ensure that Assad's regime "does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again".

Russian Federation has now vetoed 10 resolutions on Syria, including blocking an initial U.S. bid on 24 October to renew the JIM, saying it wanted to wait for the release two days later of the inquiry's report that said the Syrian government used sarin. If the inquiry is not renewed, Nebenzia said on Monday: "It may send a bad signal, but the way the investigation has been conducted sends an even worse signal".

Turkey earlier this month said Russian Federation had chose to postpone a planned Syria peace conference with all parties after Ankara objected to the potential inclusion of Kurdish forces.

"Only by doing so can the perpetrators of chemical weapon attacks in Syria and those accountable be brought to justice and can the Syrian people be freed from the suffering caused by chemical weapon attacks", Wu added.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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