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France, Russia still divided on terms of Syria chemical weapons resolution

media Laurent Fabius (L) Sergei Lavrov (R), Moscow, 17 Sept. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV

France and Russia are still in disagreement over the details of a UN resolution to disable Syria’s chemical weapons, the two countries foreign ministers made clear after a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also strongly rejects claims by both Paris and Washington that a UN report on a Sarin attack on 21 August indicated that the Damascus government was to blame.

Lavrov said there was still “no answer to the question of where the missile [used in the 21 August attack] was produced”.

Fabius said that the UN report left “no doubt that the Damascus regime was responsible” for the chemical attack.

Both Fabius and Lavrov stressed that they were both agreed on the need to find a political solution to the Syria conflict, though they differed on the approach.

The two foreign ministers met a day after the Paris meeting between France’s Laurent Fabius, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague.

France and Britain are now preparing a draft which will demand sanctions if Syria’s Bashar al-Assad does not comply with the chemical disarmament plan.

But Lavrov said that under the agreement reached on Saturday with John Kerry, the Syrian opposition would also have to comply and that the resolution would not allow for the use of force if its terms were broken.

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