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Russian Federation casts 10th United Nations veto on Syria action, blocking inquiry renewal

Nov 17, 2017, 01:12
Russian Federation casts 10th United Nations veto on Syria action, blocking inquiry renewal

Diplomats in Turtle Bay predicted that Russian Federation would veto the US measure, which would be the 10th time Moscow has employed this power to block action targeting its Syrian ally.

The vote is scheduled for 2000 GMT, just hours before the mandate of the so-called JIM expires at midnight.

The UN Security Council was to vote yesterday on a US-drafted resolution that would extend for a year an global probe to determine who is behind chemical attacks in Syria's six-year war.

The Trump administration has urged the worldwide community to take a tougher stance on government of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, an ally of President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation.

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Meanwhile, Turkish state media said Russian President Vladimir Putin will next week host Turkish and Iranian counterparts Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani for summit talks on Syria.

"How then can we trust Russia's support for supposed peace in Syria?" she said. A resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted.

At the outset of the meeting, Russian Federation withdrew its draft resolution but it was re-submitted and the council agreed to hold a second vote on that text.

Nebenzia said Monday, "It is important that the JIM is renewed but on an updated mandate because the systemic errors that we saw with the recent report should be corrected, and that's the aim of our resolution".

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Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said he opposed the United States measure because it was "geared toward entrenching the inherent flaws of the JIM" and did nothing to improve its work.

"It promises great difficulties for the future", French Ambassador Fran├žois Delattre told the council.

The mandate for the joint inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which found that Syrian regime used the banned nerve agent sarin in an April 4 attack, expires at midnight Thursday.

"Russia is doing everything possible to prevent that from happening", he said.

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Previous reports by the JIM have found that Syrian government forces were responsible for chlorine attacks on three villages in 2014 and 2015.

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.

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