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Russia, U.S. stalemate over Syria chemical weapons inquiry

Russia, U.S. stalemate over Syria chemical weapons inquiry
From Reuters - November 13, 2017

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday it was talking to the United States about the U.N. Security Council renewing an international inquiry into chemical weapons attacks in Syria, but Washington countered that Moscow had refused to engage on a U.S.-drafted resolution.

The mandate for the joint inquiry by the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which has found the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent sarin in an April 4 attack, expires on Friday.

Russia vetoed an initial U.S. bid to renew the jointinvestigation on Oct. 24, saying it wanted to wait for the release of the latest investigations report two days later. It has since proposed its own rival draft resolution.

We are talking to the U.S., its not over yet, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters on Monday.

The inquirys report found the Syrian government was responsible for the April 4 attack using sarin in the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, killing dozens of people. The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons.

Russia has refused to engage on our draft resolutionwhich the vast majority of council members agree is the most viable textin spite of our multiple attempts to consider Russian concerns, a spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations said on Monday.

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