United Nations to vote on rival US, Russia bids to renew Syria inquiry

U.S. President Donald Trump | Mandel Ngan  AFP via Getty Images

The competing US draft resolution, which won 11 votes in favor, was vetoed by Russian Federation.

Russian Federation had earlier vetoed a rival USA draft resolution on the same issue.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the Russian veto was a blow to global efforts to curb the use of chemical weapons. Diplomats in Turtle Bay predicted that Russian Federation would veto the US measure, which would be the 10th time Moscow has employed this power to block action targeting its Syrian ally.

Russia's decision to veto the resolution provoked an angry reaction from the U.S. envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley.

Russia, which is Syria's most important ally, has submitted a rival draft resolution on renewing the experts' mandate to the Security Council.

"Russia is doing everything possible to prevent that from happening", he said. But she claimed the Russian draft would keep Syria from being investigated and said Russia is continuing "to push unacceptable language only meant to undermine the investigators and divide this council".

France, which voted in favor of renewing the mandate for the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), also expressed alarm.

Food and fuel prices push India's retail inflation in October
Other notable categories such as cereals became dearer by 3.68 per cent and meat and fish recorded a rise of 3.12 per cent. The Retail Price Index (RPI), a separate measure of inflation, was 4% last month, up from 3.9% in September.

Russia's deputy ambassador to the U.N., Vladimir Safronkov, dismissed the JIM's findings about Khan Sheikhoun as "mythical or invented", asking how Syria could be blamed since investigators never visited the town or the air base where the sarin attack was claimed to have been launched.

This would be a serious blow to efforts to hold those responsible for chemical weapons attacks in Syria accountable.

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.

"Let there be no doubt: we have unleashed a monster here", said Delattre.

Later in November, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the probe into April Khan Shaykhun's chemical incident of disregarding the Convention's guidelines and of "dilettantism".

The mandate for the joint inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which found the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent sarin in an April 4 attack, expires at midnight Thursday.

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.

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