14:24 GMT25 September 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom and its partners in the UN Security Council - the United States and France - hope that China and possibly Russia will support their new draft resolution on mechanisms for investigating chemical attacks in Syria, UK Ambassador to the United Nations Karen Pierce told Fox News on Sunday.

    On Saturday, France, the United States and the United Kingdom handed over to their 12 Security Council partners a new draft resolution on Syria, which is reportedly expected to address the chemical weapons issue, as well as the political and humanitarian problems.

    "I think it represents the will of the vast majority of people on the Security Council, including China. So, over the next few days and weeks, we will be pursuing that with the Secretary General, and we look to the Russians to come back into the international fold and help us resolve this conflict," Pierce said.

    The new draft resolution reportedly calls for ensuring humanitarian access to besieged areas, ceasefire and also requires the participation of Damascus in peace negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition, the draft resolution proposes conducting independent investigations into reported chemical attacks in Syria.

    On April 10, the UN Security Council failed to adopt either of the two Russian-drafted and one US-drafted resolutions, calling for an investigation into the recently reported chemical attack in the Syrian city of Duma in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, because the diplomats from Russia and the United States were using their veto powers to block each others' drafts.

    "We would much rather get back to a stage where Russia worked with the rest of the P-5 and the Security Council to find a way to bring the Assad regime to the negotiating table, and get back into the political process, to have a cessation of hostilities, to dismantle the chemical weapons, and for there to be accountability," Pierce added.

    On Friday night, the United States, France and the United Kingdom launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical incident in the Damascus' suburb of Duma. The Western states have accused forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad of an attack with the use of chemical weapons in Duma. The Syrian leadership denied any involvement in the attack, and invited the experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate into the reports.

    According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the three countries fired over 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles, most of which were shot down by the Syrian air defense. According to Damascus, which has repeatedly said that it eliminated its chemical weapons stockpiles, the attack damaged Syrian infrastructure, and left three civilians injured.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Saturday that the strikes had been carried out in violation of norms and principles of the international law.


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