Russia To Host Turkey, Iran In Sochi For Talks On Syria Conflict

A Security Council meeting

A joint report from the United Nations and global chemical weapons inspectors last month determined the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the attack.

The 15-nation council was due to vote on Thursday on rival US and Russian bids to renew the worldwide inquiry, diplomats said on Wednesday, a move that could trigger Russia's 10th veto to block action on Syria.

It means that the JIM's mandate expires at midnight Thursday, rather than be extended for another year.

Earlier, Russia repeatedly criticized the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) that was conducting a probe into chemical attacks in Syria under the UNSC mandate.

The vote sparked a war of words between Russia and the United States in the council, just hours after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump believed he could work with Russian President Vladimir Putin on issues like Syria.

Russia Demands that US Respect Agreement on Antiterrorism in Syria

"Russia has refused to engage on our draft resolution — which the vast majority of council members agree is the most viable text — in spite of our multiple attempts to consider Russian concerns", said the spokesperson, who wasn't authorized to be quoted by name. After the council voted on the United States draft, Bolivia then requested that the body vote on the Russian text.

"It promises great difficulties for the future", French Ambassador François Delattre told the council.

On Tuesday, Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters that the two superpowers were still negotiating.

A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted.

The JIM experts also said they were "confident" the Islamic State extremist group was responsible for an attack at Um Hosh in Aleppo in September 2016 using mustard gas.

Читайте также: Saudi Arabia Is Now At War With Iran on Four Fronts

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.

"Russia is doing everything possible to prevent that from happening", he said.

Britain's United Nations ambassador told reporters Tuesday that it's extremely important that everyone who uses chemical weapons in Syria or elsewhere is held accountable, and the JIM is crucial in determining responsibility.

Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under a deal brokered by Russian Federation and the United States.

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