DEVELOPING: A vote by the U.N. Security council on a draft resolution to condemn the attack weapon attack in Syria failed Wednesday with a veto by Russia, but fellow member China abstained, a sign that talks with President Trump last week may have had an effect on the superpower.
The draft resolution by Britain, France and the United States called for those responsible for the attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 to be identified and brought to justice.
The resolution garnered 10 votes in favor, 2 votes against, Russia and Bolivia, and 3 abstentions, China, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan, when brought to the floor.
“This is the necessary minimum response deserved by this council,” UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said before the vote.
The final draft included a paragraph that the Russians objected to last week, which stressed Syria’s requirement to provide investigators with flight plans and information about air operations on April 4 when Khan Sheikhoun was attacked, names of helicopter squadron commanders, and immediate access to air bases where they believe an attack may have been launched.
Before the vote Wednesday, Russian Deputy U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said the Western draft resolution “does not serve a useful purpose.”
Chinese ambassador to the U.N., Liu Jieyi, said the choice to abstain came from some elements of the resolution could have been “amended.’
“It is our long standing hope that the security council can speak with one voice on Syria,” he said.
Jieyi added that a political solution is the “only way forward.”
Earlier in the day, the U.S. and Russia separately agreed to work together on an international investigation the Syrian chemical weapons attack that prompted retaliatory American missile strikes.
The Trump administration blames Russia’s ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Moscow has repeatedly said Syrian rebels are responsible.
After a day of discussions with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the former Cold War foes agreed a probe of events in northern Syria was necessary.
Russia has claimed rebels dispersed whatever chemical agent was found, which the Trump administration calls a disinformation campaign.
The news conference came after Russian President Vladimir Putin met the top American diplomat for almost two hours to see if they could rescue relations between the world’s mightiest military powers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tags: Assad, chemical weapons, Chinese ambassador to the U.N., Khan Sheikhoun, Liu Jieyi, Russian Deputy U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syria, Syrian President Bashar Assad, U.N. Security Council, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, United Nations