Syrian nuclear activities divide global powers at UN atomic meeting

By REUTERS
September 19, 2014 20:47

Western states defeated a Russian proposal on Friday to remove Syria's alleged past nuclear activities from the agenda of meetings of the UN atomic agency, diplomats said.

But in a vote that highlighted how polarizing the global political debate has become, China supported Russia's initiative while only about half of the nations on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board - 17 out of 35 - voted against.

Western diplomats argued that Damascus should be kept under pressure to cooperate with the IAEA's long-stalled inquiry, even though this has hardly advanced in the last three years as the country descended into bloodshed.

US envoy Laura Kennedy told the meeting ahead of the vote that the Russian proposal if adopted "would threaten the credibility" of the IAEA's board of governors.


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