France said on Monday it expected the UN Security Council to agree on a resolution to enforce a chemical weapons deal with Syria and appeared to give up on its previous calls to have a resolution threatening force against President Bashar Assad.
Russia accused the West on Sunday of trying to exploit the deal between Moscow and Washington with Syria to push through a council resolution issued under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, which could authorise sanctions or military intervention if Damascus reneges on its commitments.
Some UN diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, had expressed concern about whether agreement on a resolution could be reached. However, speaking to reporters in New York French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius appeared to back down.
"For it to be acceptable to France ... the resolution should foresee that measures under Chapter 7 are taken if Syria does not comply with its commitments in line with the Geneva agreement," Fabius said. He added the resolution should also call for those behind the chemical attack to face justice.
"We should take exactly what was foreseen in Geneva," Fabius said. "On that basis we should come to an agreement."
Russia and the United States brokered the deal in Geneva in mid-September to avoid possible US military strikes. Under the deal, Assad would account for his chemical weapons and see them destroyed by the middle of next year.