Trump urges United Nations council to renew Syria chemical arms inquiry

Russia Demands that US Respect Agreement on Antiterrorism in Syria

Russian Federation said Tuesday it is talking to the United States about renewing the mandate of experts working to determine who was responsible for chemical weapons attacks in Syria, but the USA says Moscow won't consider the American draft resolution.

President Donald Trump urged the council to support the panel's continued work, saying on Twitter that this would "ensure" that President Bashar al-Assad's "regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again".

Syrian ally Russian Federation withdrew its own rival draft resolution to renew the inquiry, formally known as the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), after losing a rare procedural vote for its text to be considered after the council voted on the U.S. draft.

The vote is scheduled for 2000 GMT, just hours before the mandate of the so-called JIM expires at midnight.

The White House in June cautioned against another possible chemical weapons strike in Syria, warning that the Assad government would "pay a heavy price" for it.

It would mark the tenth time that Moscow has used its veto power at the council to block action targeting its ally Syria. Apart from Russia, Bolivia also opposed the resolution, while China and Egypt abstained from voting.

Читайте также: UK Parliament to vote on final Brexit deal before Britain leaves EU

At the outset of the meeting, Russian Federation withdrew its draft resolution so it would be voted on second. In late October, the JIM issued yet another reoport, a seventh in a row, to blame the April 4, 2017 sarin attack in Khan Sheikhun on the Syrian authorities and the September 16, 2016 attack involving the use of mustard gas in Maarat Umm Khawsh on militants of the terrorist group Islamic State (outlawed in Russia).

"Russia has killed the Joint Investigative Mechanism ..."

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".

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

With two days left before Thursday's expiration of the mandate for the Joint Investigative Mechanism, known as the JIM, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told The Associated Press that "we are engaging with them".

A joint report from the United Nations and worldwide chemical weapons inspectors last month determined the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the attack.

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