Britain ‘dismayed’ by Russia’s UN Syria veto

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Britain ‘dismayed’ by Russia’s UN Syria veto

London, Apr 12 (AFP) British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was “dismayed” by Russia’s veto today of a UN draft resolution on the suspected chemical attack in Syria.

“This puts Russia on the wrong side of the argument,” Johnson said in a statement issued in London.

Russia blocked a draft United Nations resolution demanding that the Syrian regime cooperated with an investigation into the attack, which the West blames on President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

“The international community sought to make clear that any use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere is unacceptable and that those responsible will face consequences,” Johnson said.

“So I am dismayed that Russia has once again blocked the UN Security Council and in so doing refused to condemn the use of chemical weapons or support a full UN investigation into the attack.

“This puts Russia on the wrong side of the argument. But it doesn’t have to be this way.”

He said the Group of Seven industrial powers were ready to work with Russia to end the six-year civil war in Syria by finding a political solution, and were unanimous that Assad had “no long term future” in the country.

“So Russia faces a choice: it can continue acting as a lifeline for Assad’s murderous regime, or it could live up to its responsibilities as a global power, and use its influence over the regime to bring six long years of failed ceasefires and false dawns to an end,” said Johnson.

Britain, France and the United States put forward the UN draft resolution in response to the suspected sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhun on April 4 that left 87 dead, including 31 children.

British analysis of samples from the site concluded that sarin, or a substance like it, was used. Britain believes it is “highly likely the Assad regime was responsible”, Johnson said. (AFP)

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.