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UN statement on Syria chemical weapon attack watered down to accommodate Russia, China objections
By REUTERS AND JPOST.COM STAFF
08/22/2013
An earlier Western-drafted statement seen by Reuters submitted to the UN Security Council responding to an alleged massive chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces was not approved on Wednesday night.

The final version of the statement was watered down to accommodate objections from Russia and China, diplomats said. Moscow and Beijing have vetoed previous Western efforts to impose UN penalties on Assad.

With the death toll estimated between 500 and 1,300, what would be the world's most lethal chemical weapons attack since the 1980s prompted an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.

The council did not explicitly demand a UN investigation of the incident, although it said "clarity" was needed and welcomed UN chief Ban Ki-moon's calls for a prompt investigation by the UN inspection team in Syria, led by Ake Sellstrom.
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