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PRESS RELEASE


Russia Confronts Britain at UNSC: ‘You Fear U.S. and Russia Might Cooperate’

April 12, 2017 (EIRNS)—At a UN Security Council meeting called today to debate a slightly-revised draft of the April 5 resolution on Syria presented by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, which was voted down, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative, Vladimir Safonkov, identified the United Kingdom, through its Permanent Representative Matthew Rycroft, as the biggest saboteur of any attempts to resolve the Syrian crisis, and of "complicating" the work of Special UN Envoy Steffan De Mistura in the region.

Responding to Rycroft’s anti-Russia diatribe, in which he had charged that Russia had lost all credibility in the eyes of the world because of its support for the "barbaric" Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and had consistently "abused" its veto at the UNSC, Safronkov got right to the point.

"What you are afraid of," he told Rycroft, is that "we might work with the United States. That’s what you lose sleep over." As Rycroft looked away, Safronkov told him, "Look at me! I’m speaking to you! Don’t look away!" The United Kingdom does nothing to achieve a political solution in Syria, he continued. On the contrary, "you invite illegal armed groups to London," groups that murder Christians and minorities in the Middle East. "You advance their interests. What are you doing" to advance a political solution, Safronkov asked. "Regime-change is more important to you" than what the majorities of the UNSC think.

Rycroft’s insulting remarks about Russia were such that Safronkov felt compelled to call on UNSC rotating president, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, to enforce the rules of conduct.

"It is unacceptable," he told Rycroft, "for you to insult Russia."

Joining Safronkov in his attacks on imperial Britain was Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar al Jaafari, who was attending a UNSC meeting for the first time in three months. This current UNSC session, he said, reminded him of Secretary of State Collin Powell’s appearance in this same room 14 years earlier, during which he swore that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It appears, he said, that

"Britain’s Brexit from the European Union may have encouraged it to seek a new role for it in the world by using irrational and extreme statements and positions in this Council."

This, he added, "reminds us of the criminal role of Tony Blair, his role in the invasion of Iraq 14 years ago after fabricating lies about Iraqi WMDs."

Al Jaafari reported that Syria has sent 90 letters to the UNSC documenting the fact that terrorist groups possess chemical weapons, and providing details on the smuggling of sarin gas from Libya, through Turkey, into Syria, with names, dates, and vehicle identification data. The Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) confirmed in 2014 that Syria no longer had chemical weapons. Moreover, he recalled, "U.S. ships in the Mediterranean destroyed those chemical weapons. What an irony." Syria, he reported, has sent a letter to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), calling on it to send a technical mission to Khan Shaykhun, site of the alleged chemical attack, and also to the Shayrat airbase attacked by the U.S. Tomahawk missiles, to begin a competent investigation.