Syria ‘most serious threat’ to int’l peace, security: Guterres

Syria ‘most serious threat’ to int’l peace, security: Guterres
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United Nations: Syria represents the “most serious threat” to international peace and security, UN chief Antonio Guterres said today, urging all the member states to show restraint and avoid any acts that could escalate the situation and worsen suffering of the Syrian people.
Guterres remarks came in the wake of combined military air strikes by the US, the UK and France against President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime.
“I have been following closely the reports of air strikes in Syria conducted by the US, France and the UK. There’s an obligation, particularly when dealing with matters of peace and security, to act consistently with the Charter of the United Nations and with international law in general. The UN Charter is very clear on these issues,” he said.
He said the Security Council had “primary responsibility” for the maintenance of international peace and security and called on the members of the Security Council to “unite and exercise” that responsibility.
“Syria indeed today represents the most serious threat to international peace and security”, Guterres said.
“I urge all Member States to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people,” he said in a statement.
US President Donald Trump said the joint action was meant to establish a “strong deterrent” against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons.
Guterres had termed the use of chemical weapons as “abhorrent”, saying the suffering it causes is “horrendous”.
“I have repeatedly expressed my deep disappointment that the Security Council failed to agree on a dedicated mechanism for effective accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. I urge the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and fill this gap,” he said.
Guterres said he will continue to engage with member states to help achieve this objective. PTI