US envoy blames Russia for current impasse over Syria

NEW YORK, US Representative to the UN attributed the recent chemical weapon attacks in Syria to the failure of Russia and the Syrian regime to abide by the terms of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

The UN Security Council should not condemn those States that were standing up for the principles of the CWC; instead, it should focus on those who exhibited unilateralism in defense of chemical weapon use, Nikki Haley said on Friday.

She was addressing an emergency Council session called by Russia to discuss what it called “unilateral threats” to Syria.

While the US President Donald Trump had not yet made up his mind on whether or not to act in Syria, if he and his allies chose to do so, it would be in defense of international norms, she said.

“The Russian Federation “can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies or its cover-up,” Haley stressed.

Today’s emergency meeting had been convened under strange circumstances, whereby the Russian Federation had asked members to address “unilateral threats” while ignoring its own unilateral actions in the region, she pointed out.

“What should really be considered today was the blatant violation of international law of the use of chlorine, mustard gas and other chemical weapons,” Haley went on.

“Indeed, it was the Russian Federation alone that had consistently defended the Assad regime, having used its veto six times to do so, despite agreeing to act as the guarantor for the removal of all Syria’s chemical weapons.

“If the Russian Federation had lived up to its commitment, there would be no chemical weapons in Syria, and we would not be here today,” she argued.

Haley recalled the chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun town in Idlib Governorate, northwest Syria, on April 4, 2017, and the attack with nerve agent on Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury cityin Wiltshire, England, on March 4, 2018.

Following the use of chemical weapons during the First and Second World Wars, the Geneva Protocols had been adopted and then States had signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, known as the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Convention binds its signatories to never develop or use such weapons or assist others in doing so. All Council members had signed that Convention, and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad had also agreed to abide by its terms. (pickup previous)

Source: Kuwait News Agency