Trump presses for United Nations vote on chemical weapons in Syria
01:13, Nov 17, 2017
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A Russian-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution to renew an worldwide 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.
It remained unclear whether Russian Federation would veto the US-drafted measure, which would be the 10th time that Moscow has used its veto power at the council to block action targeting its Syrian ally.
The vote sparked a war of words between Russia and the United States in the council, just hours after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump believed he could work with Russian President Vladimir Putin on issues like Syria.
"The message to anyone listening is clear: in effect, Russian Federation accepts the use of chemical weapons in Syria", she said.
Turkey earlier this month said Russian Federation had chose to postpone a planned Syria peace conference with all parties after Ankara objected to the potential inclusion of Kurdish forces.
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).
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The Kremlin sharply criticized the JIM after its latest report blamed the Assad regime for a sarin gas attack on the opposition-held village of Khan Sheikhoun that killed dozens.
"We are of the view that the JIM report, the seventh report, has been established by a flagrant disregard of [the] basic higher standards of the Chemical Convention, UN Security Council resolutions and previous decisions by the ECE executive council", Shulgin said.
A resolution requires nine votes to be adopted at the council, but five countries - Russia, Britain, China, France and the United States - can block adoption with their veto power.
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.
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". That averted a USA military strike in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta.
French Ambassador Francois Delattre urged council members to "please think twice before throwing it away, because this would be a major setback for the fundamentals of our common security".
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