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Trump urges United Nations council to renew Syria chemical arms inquiry

Trump urges United Nations council to renew Syria chemical arms inquiry”

Ahead of the council vote, Trump on Thursday urged the Security Council to renew the inquiry, saying it was needed to prevent Assad from using chemical weapons.

The measure could face a veto from Russian Federation, which is pushing a rival resolution opposed by the USA and other Security Council members.

Earlier, Russia repeatedly criticized the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) that was conducting a probe into chemical attacks in Syria under the UNSC mandate.

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

"The Assad regime should be on clear notice - the United States does not accept Syria's use of chemical weapons", she told the council, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Everyone in the Security Council would be shooting ourselves in the foot if we allowed that to happen", he said.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said late Monday that "Russia is mouthing words of support for JIM renewal, but those words are not backed up by any actions". A resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted.

In April, more than 80 people were killed in a sarin attack on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun - an attack that prompted the United States to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase.

The joint UN-Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) panel was set up by Russian Federation and the United States in 2015 and unanimously endorsed by the council, which renewed its mandate a year ago.

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".

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

"In effect Russian Federation accepts the use of chemical weapons in Syria".

While Russia agreed to the 2015 creation of the inquiry, known as the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), it has consistently questioned its findings, which also concluded that the Syrian government used chlorine as a weapon several times.

"It promises great difficulties for the future", French Ambassador François Delattre told the council.



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