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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 20 January 2022

UN Security Council to hold urgent meeting on Syria

Russia has asked for the meeting on the back of multiple developments in the past 24 hours.

Syrian refugees have their passports checked at the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate.
Syrian refugees have their passports checked at the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate.
Image: Gregorio Borgia/AP/Press Association Images

RUSSIA HAS CALLED an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council.

The 15 members are due to gather at 9pm (Irish time).

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Britain, France and the US will introduce a motion at the meeting calling for Bashar Assad to hand over its chemical weapons within a “proper timetable”.

“Britain and France and America will be tabling a UN Security Council resolution today,” he told British lawmakers as officials from the three countries met at UN headquarters in New York.

“I think we do need some deadlines, we do need some timetables. So I think in any Security Council resolution that we draft — and Britain, France and America are discussing this right now – we need to be clear there do need to be some thresholds.”

This is not about… monitoring chemical weapons in Syria. It’s got to be about handing them over to international control and their destruction.

The Russian proposals (which said the weapons would be put under international control and destroyed) must be treated seriously, but also “tested out properly” to ensure they were not a “ruse”, he added, admitting that “things have moved faster than perhaps was anticipated”.

It has been a frantic day on the diplomatic front in terms of the ongoing crisis in Syria.

France said its resolution would call on Syria to put its chemical weapons arsenal beyond use or face “extremely serious” reprisals.

But the ongoing threat of military intervention has not been welcomed by Moscow, which wants Damascus to put its weapons under international control in exchange for no further action from Western powers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told the US to renounce its option of using force in Syria to allow checks on Damascus’s chemical weapons to go ahead.

“It all makes sense and can work if the US side and all those who support it renounce the use of force,” the President told Russian television.

However, Washington has said it will not fall for “stalling tactics”.

President Barack Obama is due to address the nation in a televised address at 2am (Irish time).

International communities were sparked into action following a chemical attack on civilians in a suburb of Damascus on 21 August this year. It is thought that about 1,400 people, including hundreds of children, perished in the attack.

Additional reporting by AFP

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