Saturday, 21 April, 2018

UNSC must not let Syria crisis spiral out of control: Guterres

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
Anna Jefferson | 13 April, 2018, 22:24

A competing draft penned by Russian Federation, which would have established the mechanism for one year as well but would have given the Security Council the responsibility to assign accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, was also not adopted.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed to the five permanent members of the Security Council to break the current deadlock on reported use of chemical weapons in Syria and prevent the situation spiralling out of control in the war-torn country, Financial Express reported.

On the other hand, the recent threats by US President Donald Trump of an imminent attack on Syria have increased tensions and uncertainty on the worldwide scenario.

"Increasing tensions and the inability to reach a compromise in the establishment of an accountability mechanism (for chemical weapons use in Syria) threaten to lead to a full-blown military escalation", Guterres told the Security Council.

He compared this divide to others - such as the Cold War and the Palestinian-Israeli divide.

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Threats against Syria are a violation of UN Charter themselves - Russia's envoy
The government's capture of Douma, the last town held by the rebels in eastern Ghouta, marked a major victory for Assad. Trump has since tempered those remarks and the White House said no final decisions on possible actions had been taken.

He said Syria represents the most serious threat to worldwide peace and security today.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Washington estimates that Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad's forces have used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year-long conflict.

On Thursday, the cabinet of British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed action needs to be taken against the use of chemical weapons in Syria. "But should the United States and our allies decide to act in Syria, it will be in defense of a principle on which we all agree", Haley told the UN Security Council.

On Tuesday, the deeply divided Council failed to pass a resolution to launch or support a probe into the alleged use of chemical weapons Saturday in Douma, near Damascus, despite three separate votes on rival proposals from the United States and Russian Federation.

The Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Francois Delattre said that the Assad regime is using chemical weapons to attack its opponents in a pre-determined way.

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