U.N. official: regional schism on Syria a hindrance to solving conflict

The U.N. Security Council resolved on Friday to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. Despite this, divisions, both in Syria and the region, are hindering attempts to solve the country’s “tragic” conflict, Jeffrey D. Feltman, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told Al Arabiya’s New York Bureau Chief Talal al-Haj.

Feltman said “perhaps we have overcome the divisions in the Security Council,” in response to news that the 15-member U.N. body adopted a resolution that demanded the eradication of Syria’s chemical weapons but did not threaten punitive action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government if it fails to comply.

“But look at the division inside Syria and in the region, those have to be overcome,” he added.

While there are many “challenges” the international community must face “trying to address to the tragedies in Syria,” the resolution “was a significant diplomatic accomplishment last week.”

“Not only does the resolution hold the promise of eliminating this category of [chemical] weapons in the Syrian arsenal, but this is the first time…the Security Council has endorsed the Geneva communiqué from last year.”

Geneva II is set to take place in mid-November but there are fears that the second conference vowing to solve Syria’s more than two-and-a-half-year conflict will not materialize.

“There is whole lot of work to do to get delegations to Geneva in the proper frame of mind to implement the Geneva I communiqué,” stated Feltman.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
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