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Security Council to Discuss Syria, Again

Envoys from Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States will meet Wednesday night to discuss the situation in Syria.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/12/2013, 12:12 AM

UN Security Council
UN Security Council
AFP photo

Envoys from Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - the permanent veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council - will meet Wednesday night to discuss the situation in Syria, diplomats said, according to AFP.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said earlier that the failure to halt atrocities in the war-torn country had become a new stain on the reputation of the world body and the Security Council powers.

France, Britain and the United States on Tuesday pressed for a Council resolution that would impose tough consequences should Damascus fail to hand over control of its banned chemical weapons.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, however, said it would be "unacceptable" for the 15-nation Council to pass a text that puts the blame on President Bashar Al-Assad for an August 21 attack in the Damascus suburbs.

A Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday was canceled at the last minute at Moscow's request.

France has indicated it is ready to modify, within limits, its draft resolution but intends to keep the military option on the table as a means of pressuring the Assad regime.

The Security Council has failed for more than two years to agree on a resolution on Syria, mostly because China and Russia, close allies of Assad, have used their veto power on such resolutions.

At Russia's urging, Damascus has said it wants to put its arsenal of chemical weapons under international supervision in compliance with the 1993 convention banning the weapons.

Russia has provided the United States with a plan for controlling the weapons, to be discussed Thursday in Geneva by the U.S. and Russian foreign ministers, according to a Russian government source.

In an address to the nation on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama laid the case for attacking in Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack on August 21, but said he would give the Russian proposal a chance.