17 September 2013, 23:52

Syrian opposition urges UN resolution allowing use of force

сирия оппозиция конференция национальная коалиция оппозиционных и революционных сил Сирии стамбул турция

Syrian opposition chief Ahmad Jarba urged the Security Council Tuesday to adopt a resolution under Chapter VII of the UN charter allowing use of force to cripple Syria's "war machine."

In a speech on Arab televisions, Jarba said "ending the killing of Syrian people is only possible by stopping the regime's war machine and barring it from using its aviation, missiles and artillery, and depriving it of its chemical weapons."

The head of the opposition National Coalition said this action should be taken "under Chapter VII of the UN Charter."

His comments came as envoys from the five Security Council permanent members met at UN headquarters in New York to discuss a French-drafted resolution on destroying Syria's chemical weapons.

Diplomats said ambassadors discussed a French text which included a demand for action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not stick to the US-Russian plan.

Britain, France and the United States are in favour of a strong resolution against Syria.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who agreed a deal on Saturday with US counterpart John Kerry to dismantle and destroy Syria's chemical arms stockpile by mid-2014, is opposed to a resolution that is under the chapter of the UN charter that allows the use of force.

France also wants chemical weapons attacks in Syria referred to the International Criminal Court.

Jarba, whose speech was delivered in Istanbul and broadcast by the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite news channel, said a resolution under Chapter VII "paves the way to a solution to the Syrian crisis... that would lead to a democratic regime that will rebuild Syria."

He accused the international community of "keeping silent on the crimes of the regime" and charged that this attitude allowed the Damascus regime to unleash chemical attacks.

The United States had threatened a military strike on Syria after declaring that the Assad regime launched a chemical attack on Damascus suburbs last month that killed hundreds.

Syria denies any responsibility and has accused rebels fighting to topple Assad of using chemical weapons.

"We don't want to see the Assad regime use the hesitation (of the international community) as a green light to resume its odious crimes," said Jarba.

"We don't want to see Assad continue to kill hundreds of thousands of Syrians with heavy weapons, with the protection of an agreement allowing him to use all means to kill except chemical weapons."

Russian FM demands detailed analysis of UN experts' Syria chemical attack report, believes it was provocation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that he insists that the UN experts' report addressing the chemical attack in the suburbs of the Syrian capital of Damascus on August 21 be analyzed thoroughly, the Voice of Russia correspondent Polina Chernitsa reports.

"This report requires analysis, which naturally should not be conducted separately, but ought to take into account all testimonies that abound on the Internet and in the media in general today, including the testimony given by nuns from a nearby convent that was presented by a journalist who made a point of visiting this district," Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

You can read Live updates of the meeting here

Russia willing to make contribution to security of OPCW experts in Syria - Lavrov

Russia is prepared to make its contribution in order to ensure the security and safety of the sites where experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be working in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, Voice of Russia correspondent reports.

"The storage locations, which will be identified during the first stage of the experts' work, will require some international presence, I am sure about this. Russia is willing to take part in the procedures ensuring such security along the perimeters of the sites where the relevant work will be done by Syrian experts and OPCW experts," Lavrov said at a press conference following negotiations with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

Provision of security is beyond the OPCW's jurisdiction, Lavrov said.

"Definitely, the common practice is that the host country and the government of the relevant state are responsible for security of inspectors' work - and this is confirmed in the Russian-US document," he said.

The statement following the negotiations with US Secretary of State John Kerry also mentions that "other Syrian parties, that is, the opposition, also bear responsibility for the safe work by those who will come to dispose of the chemical weapons," he said.

"But it is also clear that some additional steps also need to be taken," Lavrov said.

Russia sees no proof of Damascus chemical weapons use

Russia does not see convincing evidence in the UN report that the Syrian government was to blame for last month's chemical weapons attack outside Damascus, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"The report needs to be studied, not in isolation but with all evidence that is currently in the media and the internet," Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

The foreign minister reiterated that the report only showed that chemical weapons were used during the August 21 attack. "The UN inspectors had no mandate to assign guilt," he said.

Lavrov added that the UN inspectors should return to Syria to investigate further incidents of alleged chemical weapons use.

Russia and France can’t agree Syria peace solution

Russia and France have a common goal of helping Syria on its way towards peace, Russia’s foreign chief Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday after a meeting with his French counterpart, Lorent Fabius. The Russian foreign minister confessed that the two countries didn’t see eye to eye on how this could be achieved.

"We had a detailed talk on the situation in the Middle East today, in particular in Syria. We are of one mind about the final goal, which is the end of bloodshed, reconciliation based on the respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity, secular rule and rights of all ethnic minorities," Mr. Lavrov told the press.

"But there are certain discrepancies between us about the ways to achieve this," he added.

The Russian foreign affairs veteran also said the parties agreed on the importance of taking chemical weapons away from Syria.

"We are grateful to our French friends for backing the US-Russian initiative, which will be on the agenda of the organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). We are going to adopt the Un General Assembly’s resolution on the OPCW and convene a Geneva-2 conference to put through Geneva-1 agreements and set up an interim government."

Russia has serious grounds to believe Aug 21 chemical attack was a provocation - Lavrov

Lavrov said the UN should not resort to a chapter 7 resolution simply because some countries alleged that the Assad regime was behind last month's chemical attack. He said that would amount to "playing to emotions". He called for a "professional" assessment of who was to blame, the Voice of Russia correspondent reports.

Lavrov said the UN inspectors report does not answer all the questions about the attack. He insisted there are serious grounds to believe the attack was a "provocation".

Syria chemical attack most likely a provocation - Lavrov

Russia and France have a common goal of helping Syria on its way towards peace, Russia’s foreign chief Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday after a meeting with his French counterpart, Lorent Fabius. The Russian foreign minister confessed that the two countries didn’t see eye to eye on how this could be achieved. In this manner, Lavrov insisted that Russia views Ghouta chemical attack as a provocation which needs further investigation.

“We had a detailed talk on the situation in the Middle East today, in particular in Syria. We are of one mind about the final goal, which is the end of bloodshed, reconciliation based on the respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity, secular rule and rights of all ethnic minorities,” Mr. Lavrov told the press.

“But there are certain discrepancies between us about the ways to achieve this,” he added.

The Russian foreign affairs veteran also said the parties agreed on the importance of taking chemical weapons away from Syria.

“We are grateful to our French friends for backing the US-Russian initiative, which will be on the agenda of the organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). We are going to adopt the Un General Assembly’s resolution on the OPCW and convene a Geneva-2 conference to put through Geneva-1 agreements and set up an interim government.”

Lavrov also added Russi and US are to draw up OPCW executive council's decision on Syria's chemical weapons.

Voice of Russia, AFP, Interfax, TASS, RIA, dpa

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