U.N. Syria toxic gas inquiry extended 18 days to allow more talks | Reuters

UNITED NATIONS The U.N. Security Council on Monday extended for 18 days the mandate of an international inquiry charged with laying blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria as Western states on the 15-member council attempt to negotiate a longer renewal.The year-long inquiry by the United Nations and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has found that Syrian government forces were responsible for three chlorine gas attacks and that Islamic State militants had used mustard gas.The mandate of the inquiry had been due to expire on Monday, but the council unanimously agreed to extend it until Nov.

Reuters October 31, 2016 23:46:49 IST
U.N. Syria toxic gas inquiry extended 18 days to allow more talks
| Reuters

UN Syria toxic gas inquiry extended 18 days to allow more talks
 Reuters

UNITED NATIONS The U.N. Security Council on Monday extended for 18 days the mandate of an international inquiry charged with laying blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria as Western states on the 15-member council attempt to negotiate a longer renewal.The year-long inquiry by the United Nations and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has found that Syrian government forces were responsible for three chlorine gas attacks and that Islamic State militants had used mustard gas.The mandate of the inquiry had been due to expire on Monday, but the council unanimously agreed to extend it until Nov. 18.France, Britain and the United States hope to persuade Russia to agree to a 12-month extension before starting talks on a draft resolution to punish those blamed for such attacks.

"It is absolutely critical that the (inquiry) gets later a one-year mandate to continue its investigation. We consider it very important," French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters on Monday. Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday that Moscow would like the inquiry to be strengthened to look more at the "terrorist chemical threat" and to include attacks outside of Syria. Western states have accused Islamic State of using chemical weapons in neighboring Iraq.

Russia has also dimmed Western hopes that U.N. sanctions could be imposed on the Syrian government forces that the inquiry has found responsible for such attacks. Churkin described the findings as "unconvincing" and said they "cannot serve as accusatory conclusions for taking legal decisions."

Syria's government last Wednesday denied its forces had used chemical weapons during the country's nearly six-year civil war. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by James Dalgleish)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

also read

Afghans say can't endure hard-line Taliban, pack bags hoping for a chance to leave
World

Afghans say can't endure hard-line Taliban, pack bags hoping for a chance to leave

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated in the frantic days between the 15 August Taliban takeover and the official end of the evacuation on 30 August.

Taliban agrees to restart polio vaccinations across Afghanistan, says World Health Organisation
World

Taliban agrees to restart polio vaccinations across Afghanistan, says World Health Organisation

The Taliban had since 2018 barred UN-organised vaccination teams from door-to-door campaigns in parts of Afghanistan under their control over fears of spy infiltration

Coal scarcity was a man-made crisis, India needs a planned transition to renewables
India

Coal scarcity was a man-made crisis, India needs a planned transition to renewables

If we find ourselves in this situation at a time of virtually no growth in the demand for electricity, what will happen when we start seeing a real recovery in the economy?