UNSC Should Not Get Involved in Syria Power Change – Russia’s UN Envoy

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The UN Security Council should not deal with change of power in Syria as it is in the Council’s interests to have Syrians reach internal peace by themselves, Russian envoy to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said.

On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it was discussing the creation of a greater coalition to fight the Islamic State (ISIL) than the one led by the United States. The broader coalition would use force under the permission of the UN Security Council.

Russia has repeatedly criticized the US-led coalition for conducting airstrikes against ISIL positions in Syria without seeking the approval of the UN Security Council or Damascus.

“The UN Security Council should not deal with power changes. Especially since the history of the Middle East, particularly in the last decade, demonstrates that forcing scenarios from outside brings chaos to countries and does not solve but aggravate [their] problems,” Churkin said in an interview with the Russian Izvestia newspaper.

Earlier this year, UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura proposed inviting the parties to the Syrian conflict to take part in four UN-led thematic working groups — on safety and protection, political and legal issues, military, security and counter-terrorism issues, and continuity of public services and reconstruction and development. De Mistura’s plan was supported by the UN Security Council in August.

“The Council will keep the situation under close control, but the decision has to be made by Syrians. This concerns the political fate of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad as well,” Churkin said.

Syria has been in the state of a civil war since 2011. Government forces have been fighting on multiple fronts, against moderate opposition groups and numerous extremist insurgent groups, including ISIL and the al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra).

Russia has been supporting the Syrian government to find a political solution to the devastating conflict, and to counter terrorism by providing military assistance. The United States has been supporting the country’s moderate opposition and calling for Assad to step down.

Churkin admitted that the United States and Russia have disagreements on the Syrian issue, however the resolution of the internal conflict in the country remains a priority.

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