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17 November 2017, 01:13 | Colleen Roy
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday urged all members of the U.N. Security Council to back the renewal of the worldwide inquiry into chemical weapons attacks in Syria, saying it was needed to prevent President Bashar al-Assad from using the arms, Reuters reports.
The measure could face a veto from Russian Federation, which is pushing a rival resolution opposed by the US and other Security Council members.
With two days left before Thursday's expiration of the mandate for the Joint Investigative Mechanism, known as the JIM, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told The Associated Press that "we are engaging with them".
Trump says on Twitter he needs "all" on the council to renew the so-called JIM "to ensure that Assad Regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again".
Russia's deputy ambassador to the U.N., Vladimir Safronkov, dismissed the JIM's findings about Khan Sheikhoun as "mythical or invented", asking how Syria could be blamed since investigators never visited the town or the air base where the sarin attack was claimed to have been launched.
Rycroft said after the veto that Russian Federation has "failed as a supposed supporter of peace in Syria".
Russian Federation has sharply criticized the JIM after its latest report blamed the Syrian air force for a sarin gas attack on the opposition-held village of Khan Sheikhun that left scores dead.
The United States and Russia, Syria's ally, have put forward rival draft resolutions on renewing the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), tasked with investigating Syria's toxic gas attacks.
United Nations diplomats said they were expecting a Russian veto of the USA text during the council meeting scheduled for 3:00 pm (2000 GMT). She accused Moscow of "killing" the resolution, which had received backing from most members of the UN Security Council, and of "undermining" the UN's ability to prevent chemical attacks in the future.
He also said that the inquiry fails "basic standards" of an investigation and ignores any information that would cast doubt on Damascus's involvement in the April incident.
Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the U.S. draft resolution was not balanced.
The statement comes as a joint global inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is set to expire Thursday.
Previous reports by the JIM have found that Syrian government forces were responsible for chlorine attacks on three villages in 2014 and 2015.
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