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Syria chemical weapons: UN adopts binding resolution

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a binding resolution on ridding Syria of chemical weapons.

At a session in New York, the 15-member body backed the draft document agreed earlier by Russia and the US.

The deal breaks a two-and-a-half year deadlock in the UN over Syria, where fighting between government forces and rebels rages on.

The vote came after the international chemical watchdog agreed on a plan to destroy Syria’s stockpile by mid-2014.

‘Powerful diplomacy’

Speaking after the vote in New York, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the decision as “historic”.

“Tonight the international community has delivered.”

He urged the Syrian government to implement the resolution “faithfully and without delay”, and also announced a tentative date of mid-November for a new peace conference in Geneva.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the UN demonstrated that “diplomacy can be so powerful that it can peacefully defuse the worst weapons of war”.

He said the resolution would for the first time seek to eliminate entirely a nation’s chemical weapons capability.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also hailed the move, saying Moscow was ready to take part in “all operations” in Syria.

However, he stressed that the success of international efforts was “not only on Damascus’ shoulders” and that Syrian opposition must co-operate.

The UN resolution condemns the use of chemical weapons but does not attribute blame.

The text has two legally binding demands: that Syria abandon its weapons stockpile and that the chemical weapons experts be given unfettered access.

Although the draft refers to Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which allows the use of military force, a second resolution authorising such a move would be needed.

US President Barack Obama earlier said agreement on the issue by council members would be a “potentially huge victory for the international community”.

Read full story on BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated December 8, 2016 at 12:39 AM
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