UN Security Council Syria meeting postponed: Envoys

UN Security Council Syria meeting postponed: Envoys

UNITED NATIONS - Agence France-Presse / Reuters
A U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria planned for Sept. 10 was postponed at the request of Russia, which had called the talks, council envoys said.

No reason was given for calling off the closed talks among the 15 council members. "The meeting has been called off until further notice," said a council diplomat.

The meeting was expected to focus on a Russian plan to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control, diplomats said on condition of anonymity. 

Russia, the main backer of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, had opposed a French-drafted resolution and was expected to propose a weaker Security Council statement on the chemical arms crisis, diplomats said.

A resolution is legally binding and if passed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter can include the use of military force. A council statement is largely symbolic.

France is backed by the United States and Britain in proposing the statement that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said would threaten "extremely serious" consequences if Syria fails to hand over its banned weapons.

Russia's foreign ministry said, however, that it would be "unacceptable" for the council to pass a resolution which blames the Assad government for an August 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus which sparked a western threat of military strikes against government forces.

The United States, Britain and France accuse the al-Assad government of staging the attack, which the US administrations says killed more than 1,400 people. The government has blamed opposition rebels.

Meanwhile British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that Britain, France and the United States will introduce a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria's chemical weapons on Sept. 10.
"Britain and France and America will be tabling a U.N. Security Council resolution today," Cameron told British lawmakers as officials from the three countries met at U.N. headquarters in New York.