France expects UN Council to agree on Syria arms measure

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (Getty Images)

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (Getty Images)

France's foreign minister said on Monday he expects the UN Security Council to agree on a resolution to enforce the chemical weapons deal with Syria and appeared to back off French calls for the measure to threaten force against President Bashar Al Assad.

Syria's civil war is a top agenda item as world leaders gather this week for the annual UN General Assembly. Envoys from the five big UN powers - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - have been meeting to negotiate a resolution to back the US-Russian deal reached in Geneva this month to remove Syria's chemical weapons by June 2014.

Some UN diplomats have expressed concern about whether agreement on a resolution is possible in the face of sharp ongoing differences on the Security Council. France has been out front in calling for Assad's government to face punitive measures if it fails to live up to the terms of the agreement, with an initial French draft Security Council resolution calling for issuing an ultimatum to Damascus to comply.

But with Western powers giving up on what UN diplomats call a "trigger" clause for automatic punitive measures in the event of Syrian non-compliance, prospects for an agreement between Russia and the West on a draft resolution may be improving.

UN diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity that all discussions on the draft resolution were on hold until a bilateral meeting on Tuesday between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at which Syria will be among the topics of discussion.

Speaking to reporters in New York, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius appeared to confirm France's willingness to accept Russia's demand that the draft resolution not be enforceable under Chapter 7.

According to the Geneva agreement, the Security Council would have to adopt a second resolution in order to punish Syria for any non-compliance with the US-Russian plan to eradicate Syria's chemical arsenal.

"We should take exactly what was foreseen in Geneva. On that basis we should come to an agreement," Fabius said.

The US-Russian deal followed threats by US President Barack Obama to carry out military strikes against Assad's forces in response to an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack on civilians near Damascus.

The United States blames Assad's government and said the sarin gas used in it killed more than 1,400 people. Assad's government blames the rebels for that attack.

Russia and China have blocked three UN resolutions meant to pressure Assad during Syria's civil war, raging since 2011.

Russia accused the West on Sunday of trying to exploit the deal between Moscow and Washington to push through a council resolution issued under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, which could authorize sanctions or military intervention if the Syrian government reneges on its commitments.

Article continued on next page...

Related:
Topics
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Concerned for stability, Saudi Arabia tightens curbs on dissent

Concerned for stability, Saudi Arabia tightens curbs on dissent

Gulf kingdom intensifies crackdown on domestic dissent, raising...

Frustrated Kuwaitis ask, why is Kuwait falling behind?

Frustrated Kuwaitis ask, why is Kuwait falling behind?

Citizens wonder why oil producer Kuwait is not as dynamic a hub...

4
Saudi dynasty moves to forestall succession crisis

Saudi dynasty moves to forestall succession crisis

Appointment of Prince Muqrin as deputy crown prince is first...

Most Discussed
  • 54
    Three UAE women attacked with hammer at London hotel

    I really feel that Arabian Business.Com should now close this comments page. This should be all about sympathy for the families not what it is/has turned... more

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014 1:06 PM - Adrienne
  • 51
    Why Dubai isn't a plastic city

    What is definitely not a plastic city. The Arabs have a culture dating back to several centuries. 50 years back Dubai was just a fishing village. Today... more

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014 3:49 PM - P. MADHUSUDAN
  • 48
    DMCC boss Ahmed Bin Sulayem entertains Robert Mugabe in Dubai

    @fga ''However today, simply because he decided to dispossess a few white farmers of their land and redistribute to the poorer indigenous blacks'' more

    Sunday, 13 April 2014 3:02 PM - Matt Williams