Trump urges United Nations council to renew Syria chemical arms inquiry

The statement comes as a joint global inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is set to expire Thursday. A resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted.

Russia, which is Syria's most important ally, has submitted a rival draft resolution on renewing the experts' mandate to the Security Council. Last month, Russian Federation vetoed a USA -sponsored resolution to extend the panel's mandate, saying it needed to see the results of the panel's work before making a decision.

Rycroft said the majority of the Security Council's 15 member states supported the USA resolution and he wasn't aware of any substantial meetings between Russian Federation and the U.S.to reach a compromise.

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.

The Kremlin sharply criticized the JIM after its latest report blamed the Assad regime for a sarin gas attack on the opposition-held village of Khan Sheikhoun that killed dozens. Diplomats said the United States had amended its draft in a bid to win Russian support. After the council voted on the USA draft, Bolivia then requested that the body vote on the Russian text.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said he opposed the USA measure because it was "geared toward entrenching the inherent flaws of the JIM" and did nothing to improve its work.

Moon and Xi hold second summit Saturday
The Blue House initially said the Thaad issue was not going to be raised during the summit, but Xi brought it up. This was stated in the office of the President of South Korea, reports Reuters.

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

French Ambassador Francois Delattre urged council members to "please think twice before throwing it away, because this would be a major setback for the fundamentals of our common security".

Jaberi Ansari, for his part, said Syria's resilience and the consecutive successes it has achieved on the war on terrorism as well as the restoration of security to all the Syrian cities and areas would be a victory not only to the Syrian people, but also to the Iranian people and all other peoples who believe in their right to defending their countries, independence and sovereign decision.

He also said that the inquiry fails "basic standards" of an investigation and ignores any information that would cast doubt on Damascus's involvement in the April incident.

Previous reports by the JIM have found that Syrian government forces were responsible for chlorine attacks on three villages in 2014 and 2015.

"In effect Russian Federation accepts the use of chemical weapons in Syria".

  • Megan Austin