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France to submit UN resolution telling Assad to disable chemical weapons

Reuters/John Vizcaino

France said on Tuesday it has prepared a UN Security Council resolution calling on Syria to put its chemical weapons beyond use or face military action. 

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The resolution, to be presented in New York later in the day, will also demand that the individuals responsible for an August 21 chemical attack on Damascus suburbs be put on trial at the International Criminal Court.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius gave the news at a press conference this morning.

He said the resolution would demand full disclosure by President Bashar al-Assad's regime of the scale of its weapons programme, and that the arsenal be placed immediately under international control as a first step towards its being dismantled.

Fabius said the resolution would be presented under chapter seven of the UN charter, which provides a basis for military action. "It will provide for extremely serious consequences in the event of Syria violating its obligations," he explained.

The French UN move came a day after Russia presented a proposal for Syria to cede control of its chemical weapons in order to avoid threatened military strikes by the United States and France.

Meanwhile France’s Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday that international pressure had worked.

"The international pressure worked," he said. "If there had not been pressure from France and the United States to... oppose the use of weapons of mass destruction, there would not have been this reaction.

"If there had not been such determination, Russia would not have budged," Le Drian said. "We are absolutely not easing up on the pressure."

 

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