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

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

A Russian-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution to renew an global inquiry into who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria failed to get the minimum nine votes needed to be adopted on Thursday. Russia's draft received four votes in favor, seven against with four abstentions.

The JIM's leaders said they were "confident" that Syria's government was responsible for an aerial attack on Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 using sarin that killed about 100 people and affected about 200 others who survived "acute exposure" to the nerve agent.

Last month, Russian Federation vetoed a US -sponsored resolution to extend the panel's mandate, saying it needed to see the results of the panel's work before making a decision.

Russia, Syria's ally on the Security Council, has put forward its own draft resolution rejecting the findings of the 26-member United Nations panel, a proposal that has little chance of passage.

"Russia is doing everything possible to prevent that from happening", he said. Diplomats said Russian Federation was expected to also request a vote.

The mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism expires on November 17.

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Russian Federation has sharply criticized the JIM after its latest report blamed the Syrian air force for a sarin gas attack on the opposition-held village of Khan Sheikhun that left scores dead.

Diplomats said the Russian draft text had little support among the 15-member council. "The only victor would be the people who want to use chemical weapons in Syria - Assad and the Islamic State".

President Donald Trump urged the council to support the panel's continued work, saying on Twitter that this would "ensure" that President Bashar al-Assad's "regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again". 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".

Later in November, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the probe into April Khan Shaykhun's chemical incident of disregarding the Convention's guidelines and of "dilettantism".

United Nations diplomats said they were expecting a Russian veto of the U.S. text during the council meeting scheduled for 3:00 pm (2000 GMT).

The summit at Putin's official residence in Sochi will involve the three "guarantors of the process of political settlement and stability and security that we see now in Syria", Peskov said.




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