UN Security Council set to vote on Syria chemical weapons resolution
UNITED NATIONS - Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at a meeting at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, Sept. 26. REUTERS photoThe U.N. Security Council is set to adopt a resolution on Sept. 27 on eradicating Syria's chemical arsenal after Russia and the United States overcame a bitter deadlock to avert U.S. military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.
Amid newfound unity of the veto-wielding council members - Russia, China, France, the United States and Britain - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he hopes a date will also be agreed on Sept. 27 for so-called Geneva 2 peace talks on Syria.
"I hope we will be able to set a date so that Geneva 2 can finally take place because the only solution is political. We moved forward on the chemical side but people are continuing to kill each other on the ground," Fabius told reporters.
The five big U.N. powers are due to meet Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and international Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly.
Diplomats said if a date was set for the peace talks in Geneva, it would likely be for November, as October appeared too ambitious.
Al-Assad agreed to destroy Syria's chemical weapons following global outrage over a sarin gas attack in the Damascus suburbs last month - the world's deadliest chemical attack in 25 years.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is due to vote on a draft deal that will send experts into Syria to inspect the stockpile of toxic munitions. The vote by the 41 member organization's executive committee paves the way for a Security Council vote in New York.
The five big U.N. powers ended weeks of diplomatic deadlock on Sept. 26 by agreeing a draft Security Council resolution - based on a deal reached by Moscow and Washington earlier this month - that demands Syria give up its chemical weapons.
U.N. diplomats said the full 15-member Security Council was expected to vote on the resolution at 8 p.m on Sept. 27. It will also be the first time the council formally endorses a plan for a political transition in Syria agreed at an international conference in Geneva in June 2012.
Until recently, the council has been paralyzed on how to deal with the Syrian civil war. Russia, backed by China, has vetoed three resolutions since October 2011 that would have condemned Assad's government and threatened it with sanctions.