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UN Secretary-General Urges Member States to Avoid Escalation in Syria

© AP Photo / Khalil SenosiUN secretary general Antonio Guterres
UN secretary general Antonio Guterres - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement calling on the member states of the Security Council to come to an agreement on establishing a mechanism for holding those who use chemical weapons accountable.

"Any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent. The suffering it causes is horrendous. I have repeatedly expressed my deep disappointment that the Security Council failed to agree on a dedicated mechanism for effective accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria," Guterres said on Friday after the US, France, and the UK attacked the Syrian government. "I urge the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and fill this gap. I will continue to engage with Member States to help achieve this objective."

He also called on all countries of the Security Council to avoid any actions that could worsen the situation in Syria.

Syrian pro-regime supporters dressed in military uniform stand in front of a mural of President Bashar al-Assad during a rally in Damascus. File photo - Sputnik International
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"I call on the members of the Security Council to unite and exercise that responsibility," Guterres said. "I urge all Member States to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances and to avoid making any moves that could escalate the situation and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people."

Guterres said that the Security Council’s main responsibility is to keep international peace and security.

"I have been closely following the reports of air strikes in Syria conducted by the United States, France and the United Kingdom. There’s an obligation, particularly when dealing with matters of peace and security, to act consistently with the Charter of the United Nations and with international law in general," Guterres said. "The UN Charter is very clear on these issues. The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security."

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