NEW YORK, Aug. 6 (UPI) — The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution to create an investigative panel to hold chemical weapons users in the Syria civil war accountable. The resolution, drafted by the United States, was passed unanimously by the 15-member Council.
The draft resolution had been worked out Wednesday in a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov while the two men spoke on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There, the two top diplomats agreed on forming a mechanism to investigate and find the perpetrators of the chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
“We… talked about the U.N. resolution and I believe reached an agreement that should try to see that resolution voted on shortly, which will create a process of accountability which has been missing,” Kerry told reporters after meeting with Lavrov.
The measure, officially Resolution 2235 on a Syria Chemical Weapons Joint Investigative Mechanism, is seen as a possible break in the impasse between Moscow and Washington over the Syrian civil war, which has killed over 200,000 people, according to U.N. estimates.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in September last year it was confident deadly chlorine-filled bombs had been used in the Syrian conflict. The OPCW is based in The Hague.
Russia has been a key ally and a major supplier of the armaments to President Bashar al-Assad, while the United States has largely backed the Syrian opposition forces. Lavrov told journalists Wednesday the two men agreed the Islamic State is a “common evil,” but that the United States and Russia’s opposing views on the Assad regime prevented the two sides from reaching some sort of diplomatic headway.
“For now we don’t have a joint approach on how specifically we can do it, given the standoff between various players on the ground, including armed units of the Syrian opposition,” Lavrov said late Wednesday.