Russia’s “tendencies” to be a rogue nation pose challenges in ending the strife in Syria, Karen Pierce, the U.K.’s ambassador to the United Nations, tells Fox News.
Russia, which is part of the P5 — the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — partnered with the U.S. in 2013, when the U.S. was conducting airstrikes on Syria, on an agreement that called for Syria’s chemical weapons stash to be removed by the middle of 2014.
Now, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin has sided with the Bashar Assad regime, and warned of “consequences” related to targeted military airstrikes ordered by President Trump late Friday.
“I hope, even at this late stage, that Russia would still come back and would still help us resolve this crisis,” Pierce, in her first interview with American television as the ambassador, told Eric Shawn during an interview that aired Sunday on Fox News.
“But I think we find it astounding, as do many people, that a country that helped build the chemical weapons convention and the global non-proliferation regime, that Russia can now be one of those rogue countries that are looking to undo it,” the ambassador said.
The airstrikes in Syria occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning after President Donald Trump had threatened to attack the Bashar Assad regime, in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack a week ago which reportedly killed more than 70 people and left 500 in Douma – a suburb of the capital city Damascus – exhibiting symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals, according to the World Health Organization. Both Britain and France participated in the strikes, which hit the Barzah Research and Development Center outside Damascus and two chemical weapons storage facilities near the city of Homs.
Speaking before the UN Security Council on Saturday, Pierce, Britain’s first female ambassador in the intergovernmental organization’s history, laid out the details of a diplomatic resolution to the Syrian crisis, which is being developed along with the U.S. and France.
‘. . . we look to the Russians to come back into the international fold and help us resolve this conflict.’
The resolution calls for ending the chemical weapons program and having the stockpiles destroyed, a cessation of hostilities and compliance with all Security Council resolutions, having the Assad regime return to Geneva talks and accountability for the use of the weapons and other war crimes in Syria.
“It represents the will of the vast majority of people on the Security Council, including China, so over the next few days and weeks, we will be pursuing that with the secretary general and we look to the Russians to come back into the international fold and help us resolve this conflict,” she explained Sunday.
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