UNSC permanent members divided over Syria, to discuss Russia plan

United Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for bilateral talks over Russia plan on Syria in Geneva today.

Last Updated: Sep 12, 2013, 13:29 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Geneva: As the diplomatic heat over Syria crisis intensifies, the five permanent member countries of the United Nations Security Council will on Thursday meet to discuss Russian proposal to handover Syrian chemical stockpile to the international community.

United Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for bilateral talks over Russia plan on Syria in Geneva today.

Kerry and Lavrov are also expected to meet Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League envoy, who is also heading to Geneva.
The divide among the five permanent veto-wielding members, namely Britain, France, US, Russia and China on the issue of Syria has been evident since the beginning with Russia and China vetoing every resolution so far.

The discrepancies became only clearer on Wednesday when the meeting scheduled for late Wednesday on a resolution aimed at securing and destroying Syria`s chemical weapons stockpiles was cancelled on Ruusia`s request.

After Syria accepted a Russian proposal to turn over its chemical arsenal to the international community, the international diplomatic wrangling over how to go about enforcing the plan has intensified with France, UK and US demanding a binding resolution for Syria, whereas Russia has said it was unacceptable to put up a resolution with the threat of military strikes in case of non-compliance.

Russia also objected to putting any kind of ultimatum for Syrian disarmament.

Russia on Wednesday handed over its plan to make the regime’s arsenal safer to the US.

Meanwhile, the UN chief Ban Ki-moon admitted “collective failure” for inaction on Syria violence since last two and half years and also welcomed the diplomatic solution of Syrian handover of chemical stockpile.

The texture of discussions over Syria saw swift change on Tuesday when Syria agreed to Russian plan of handing over its chemical arsenal to the international community in compliance with the 1993 convention banning the weapons.

US President Barack Obama welcomed the move but not without expressing concerns at Assad;s credibility.
Speaking in a nationally televised speech Tuesday night, Obama told war-weary Americans that diplomacy suddenly holds "the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons" in Syria without use of force, but at the same time he also sounded dubious about Assad`s compliance and hence sought to keep the pressure on by saying that he had ordered his military to remain in place to fire when ordered.
France too said it would remain poised to launch military action against Syria over its use of chemical weapons despite ongoing attempts to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.