New UN Syria resolution amalgamates already agreed texts – France

PARIS, A new UN resolution on Syria, already being worked on by France at UNSC, contains “language” that has already been agreed upon by the Council and voted in prior resolutions on Syria, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The basis for the new resolution would be three prior texts that were voted in the UNSC, including by Russia, a diplomat close to Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who requested anonymity, indicated.

These resolutions were UNSC 2118 on chemical weapons, UNSC 2254 on a political framework for Syria, and UNSC 2401, with the latter sponsored by Kuwait and Sweden, he said in an “off-the-record” briefing, calling for a country-wide cease-fire for 30 days in the Syrian conflict.

The official acknowledged these resolutions had not been respected, but that France hoped to get a new text in front of the Security Council “on the most consensual basis possible.” He added that a lot of the language in the new resolution “is more or less agreed” and what is needed now is “a consensus.” Talks are ongoing with the other members of the UNSC, “particularly with Russia” to try to get a “synthesis” on the already “agreed language” from the earlier voted resolutions on Syria and amalgamate this into the new text.

Asked by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) if that was the full content of France’s proposed text, he revealed that there would be a “few extras” inserted from the French side, although he gave no specifics.

It is known that Paris is eager to get the debunked “Joint Investigation Mechanism (JIM)” operational again after Russia late last year refused to approve a new mandate for that body, which is responsible for tracking and allocating responsibility in the case of a chemical or other WMD use.

And the view here is that the international community should go back to a mechanism, like the JIM, that will allow for “reliable” inspections of suspected sites.

The diplomat also stressed that France is eager to get agreement on the fight against impunity for chemical weapons use and this is part of the ongoing discussions.

More needs to be done, also, on the humanitarian side in Syria, given the large movements of refugees there since January.

The French official estimated that between 700,000-800,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of the year.

France is undertaking a broad range of consultations on the Syrian conflict, including the ongoing war on the so-called Islamic State (IS), he affirmed.

A meeting of the “Small Group” of core nations in the anti-IS Coalition is being scheduled for as soon as feasible and “as quickly as possible”, he remarked and the French Presidency said it hopes this can take this week.

The official close to Foreign Minister Le Drian underlined that France’s “first objective” is to defeat IS and other terrorist groups still operating in Syria and he said Paris would continue to work with the Kurdish fighters to achieve this objective.

Syria will also be high on the agenda for a Wednesday meeting in Berlin between President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany is considered as France’s “principal European partner” with an important role to play, especially on the humanitarian question.

Macron also travels for a State visit to the US on April 23-25 when he will broach the Syrian question and the UN strategy with President Donald Trump.

Source: Kuwait News Agency