France pushes U.N. members to back fight against Islamic State

That draft urges countries to coordinate military activities with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and has been dismissed by veto-power Britain and other members.

France circulated a draft resolution to the 15-member council on Thursday that also calls on countries "to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically" by Islamic State. (Photo: Reuters)
English 19/11/2015 13:59 Reuters Actualizada 13:59
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France wants the United Nations Security Council to push all states who are able to join the fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq after the militants claimed the downing of a Russian plane in Egypt and attacks in Paris, Lebanon, Turkey, Tunisia.

France circulated a draft resolution to the 15-member council on Thursday that also calls on countries "to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically" by Islamic State.

It sets up a showdown between France and Russia, which on Wednesday revived a bid for U.N. approval of international military action against Islamic State by submitting an edited draft of a text initially circulated to the council on Sept. 30.

That draft urges countries to coordinate military activities with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and has been dismissed by veto-power Britain and other members.

British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, president of the council for November, said on Thursday that the shorter French draft focused on areas of the fight against Islamic State that the Security Council could agree on.

"The Russian draft ... does still talk about issues that do divide the Security Council so I don't see that having much prospect," he said, adding that little had been changed in the updated text. "It seeks to legitimize the authority of Assad."

Diplomats said the French draft is modeled after a resolution the council adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Russia, which views Syria as its closest Middle East ally, has been at odds with Western powers over the future of Assad.

French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said he hoped for a swift adoption of the French text, which had been put "in blue." This means it could be put to a vote as soon as 24 hours later, though it does not guarantee it will be put to a vote.

The French draft, seen by Reuters, "calls upon member states that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures" on territory under the control of Islamic State.

It also "urges Member States to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism."

A U.S.-led coalition has been bombing Islamic State in Iraq and Syria for more than a year, while Russia began air strikes in Syria in September.

 

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