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UN resolution on Syria falls short

By Wang Linyan at the United Nations | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-04-13 11:09
UN resolution on Syria falls short

Russia votes against motion on alleged attack; China abstains

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday failed to adopt a draft resolution on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib as Russia vetoed it.

Russia and Bolivia vetoed the draft resolution tabled by France, the UK and the US. Ten of the 15 Security Council members voted in favor of it. China, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan abstained.

The draft resolution asked Syria to provide immediate and unfettered access to and the right to inspect any and all sites. It also requested the UN secretary-general report on the issue every 30 days pursuant to resolution 2118 (2013), in which the council had decided that Syria would not use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons.

On April 6, two US naval vessels deployed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea launched 59 cruise missiles against the Shayrat airbase in Syria in what Washington asserted was a response to a chemical weapons attack on civilians in Idlib province on April 4, which killed more than 80 people. The Syria government denied possession of or any use of chemical weapons and of all weapons of mass destruction.

Vladimir Safronkov, Russia's deputy representative to the UN, said before the vote that the draft failed to serve a useful purpose. He requested to conduct an independent investigation immediately on the incident in the town of Khan Shaykhun and the Shairat airbase.

Liu Jieyi, China's ambassador to the UN, said: "China opposes the use of chemical weapons by any state, organization and individual under any circumstances."

China supports the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to conduct a comprehensive, objective and fair investigation in the alleged chemical attack and to hold the perpetrators accountable based on solid evidence that can stand the test of history and facts, Liu said.

Liu said China supports the draft resolution's text condemning the use of chemical weapons and demanding an investigation.

"Regretfully, in spite of efforts by China and other Security Council members, we couldn't reach agreement on the draft," Liu said, calling for all parties to remain committed to a political solution to the Syria issue.

Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, said after the vote that with the veto, Russia said "no" to a text that would have promoted peace in Syria.

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