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'Fighting impunity" in Syria may become obstacle to settlement — Diplomat

April 01, 2017, 14:52 UTC+3

"Implementation of the "fight against impunity" may become a major obstacle for the political settlement," Gennady Gatilov said

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GENEVA, April 1. /TASS/. The attempts of "fighting against impunity" in Syria, based on decisions outside the international law may affect the political settlement there, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said in an interview with Switzerland's Tribune de Geneve, published on Saturday.

"Anyway, implementation of the "fight against impunity" may become a major obstacle for the political settlement, while the discussions in Geneva and Astana have a tendency for development," he said.

"The priority is the national accord among the Syrians," he said.

On December 21, 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on organization of a group, which would collect information about possible military crimes in Syria since 2011 to be used further on for investigations. During voting, 15 countries, including Russia, were against the decision, and 52 countries refrained from the voting. On March 9, 2017, that group had a meeting in The Hague, where the participants decided to begin an investigation and prosecution of those responsible, the Russian diplomat said.

"We consider this mechanism illegal," he continued. "The decision to organize an authority of the kind is outside responsibilities of the UN General Assembly and contradicts with the Charter of that international organization."

"Prosecutions, criminal proceedings or initiation of criminal investigations are outside competence of the General Assembly," he said.

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