Russia, France push UN resolutions fighting ISIS

November 19, 2015  

Russia submitted a revised draft UN resolution Wednesday on fighting the Islamic State group that France said could be partially included in its own Security Council measure following the Paris attacks.

Agreement from the 15-member council on a single draft resolution that lays out the international approach to defeating IS extremists would mark a significant step after months of disagreements between the West and Russia

The Russian draft text was first presented to the Security Council in late September but was rejected by the United States, Britain and France over a provision that calls for battling the ISIS terrorists with the consent of the Syrian regime – a Moscow ally.

The new draft resolution still contains that provision, said Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, but he downplayed disagreements.

“We are calling for closer cooperation than we currently have now among all those fighting in Syria and Iraq,” Churkin told reporters following a closed-door meeting of the council.

“One thing which was heard loud and clear in our discussions in the council is that there should be unity of the council. I don’t see it as a huge gap.”

French President Francois Hollande has called on the Security Council to quickly adopt a resolution to strengthen the fight against ISIS jihadists in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Hollande is due to meet President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on November 26, two days after talks in Washington with President Barack Obama aimed at stepping up the campaign against the extremists.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said he was working “to prepare a text that will be short, strong and focused on the fight against our common enemy, Daesh (ISIS).”

That measure is expected to be presented to the council soon and Delattre said he would “carefully study” the Russian draft text to see how parts of it could be added to the French draft resolution.

Following a phone call between Hollande and Putin this week, the Kremlin said Russia and French military and security services would work together to confront “terrorist groups” in Syria.

The Paris attacks that left at least 129 dead and the bombing of a Russian airliner, both claimed by ISIS, have brought France and Russia closer together in their shared goal of defeating the jihadist group.

AFP contributed to this report. 

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