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UN Security Council Moves Toward Agreement on Syria Resolution

  • VOA News

Members of the United Nations Security Council are seen meeting at U.N. Headquarters in New York, August 29, 2013.

Members of the United Nations Security Council are seen meeting at U.N. Headquarters in New York, August 29, 2013.

The United Nations Security Council is currently considering a draft resolution which demands that Syria give up its chemical weapons.

The Council held an urgent closed-door meeting Thursday night, hours after the United States and Russia agreed on the draft following weeks of tough negotiations.

The draft notes that Syria already has agreed to turn over its poison gas arsenal for destruction by the U.N. It also points out Syria's expressed commitment to join the global treaty outlawing chemical weapons.

It says if Syria fails to comply, it could face measures under Chapter Seven, which allows for possible sanctions or military action.

Russia and China opposed language calling for an automatic military strike on Syria, which the United States, Britain and France supported.

U.S. President Barack Obama said earlier this month that the threat of U.S. military action pressured Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to agree to put his chemical arsenal under international control.

It is not clear when the Council will vote on the resolution.

Assad denies his army was behind the poison gas attack that killed 1,400 civilians outside Damascus last month. The United States says it is beyond any reasonable doubt that the Assad regime was responsible.

The draft condemns the killing of civilians by chemical weapons and says the use of such weapons anywhere is a threat to international peace and security.
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