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Russia, China leave UN SC meeting on Syria after its end, no demarche

August 28, 2013, 21:26 UTC+3
Diplomats left the meeting and headed to the Security Council’s main conference room where debates on Haiti was taking place
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UNITED NATIONS, August 28 (Itar-Tass) - The permanent representatives of Russia and China to the United Nations left the closed meeting of the Security Council on Syria after its end, there was no demarche, the Russian Permanent Mission to the U.N. told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday, August 28.

“The meeting ended and some delegations decided to stay on, probably to discuss their own issues. That’s all there is to it. There was no demarche on the part of China or Russia,” the Mission said.

It was reported earlier in the day that the Russian and Chinese officials had walked out of the U.N. Security Council meeting in New York after U.S. Permanent Representative Samantha Power had called for an immediate action in Syria.

ITAR-TASS InfographicsThe permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - Russia, Britain, China, the U.S. and France - had been invited to the closed meeting. An hour later the Russian and Chinese diplomats - Alexander Pankin and Wang Min - left the meeting and headed to the Security Council’s main conference room where debates on Haiti was taking place. Some mass media erroneously reported this as a demarche.

The meeting was “complex but constructive,” one of its participants said. The diplomats discussed the UK-authored draft resolution that would give the green light to an armed operation in Syria. Pakistani Ambassador Masood Khan said the draft would not be voted on until Thursday, August 29, as a minimum.

Western countries may, until the end of the day, submit to the Security Council a draft resolution that will authorise an armed intervention in Syria. Russia and China, which have the right of veto in the Security Council, have spoken up strongly against the use of force.

However Western countries have made it clear that they might take measures without waiting for the U.N. Security Council’s decision as they did in 1999 in Kosovo.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said this would be a gross violation of international law. “Certain states are ready to use force even before U.N. experts make public the results of their investigation. Our country will be committed to international law,” he said. “Modern international law allows the use of force only in exceptional cases: for self-defence and if so authorised by the U.N. Security Council. Some states see priorities in a distorted way.”

Meanwhile, Syria has asked the U.N. to investigate three chemical attacks carried out by rebels in the suburbs of Damascus on August 22, 23 and 24.

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