Britain’s envoy to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft said that his country and France continue to press the UN Security Council to pass a draft resolution holding accountable those involved in chemical attacks in Syria.
France has previously urged the UN Security Council to condemn the Assad regime after a joint inquiry last year by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed the regime’s use of chlorine as a chemical weapon in 2014 and 2015.
Rycroft told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday that negotiations among the 15-member Council have revolved around some “technical issues” in the draft resolution. He added that the draft resolution would be discussed further now that five new countries, namely Sweden, Kazakhstan, Italy, Bolivia, and Ethiopia has joined the Council. More time will be needed to discuss t the wording of the draft resolution, he added.
“We maintain contact with our partners in the Council and will raise this issue when everyone will be comfortable,” Rycroft said.
Sweden’s envoy to the UN, Olof Skoog, whose country holds the presidency of the Council this month, told reporters that expert consultations regarding the British-French draft resolution are still ongoing among the Council’s member states.
French and British diplomats said that the draft resolution submitted by their countries would ban the sale or supply of helicopters and spare parts to the Assad regime and blacklist 11 Syrian military commanders and officials over chemical weapons attacks during 2014 and 2015.
The diplomats added that the draft resolution would also call for freezing the assets of four Assad regime officials and 10 entities, including a Syrian research center linked to the development of chemical weapons. The draft resolution would also bar the four officials to enter to any UN member states.
Meanwhile, Ned Price, a White House National Security Council spokesman, said that the United States “condemn in the strongest possible terms the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons … in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118.” (Source : Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)