Last updated: 29 August, 2013

UN powers hold new Syria talks

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council held new talks Thursday on the Syria chemical weapons crisis but made no apparent progress on UN action.

The 45-minute meeting was the second since Britain proposed a draft Security Council resolution which would allow “all necessary measures” to protect Syrian civilians after a suspected chemical weapons attack last week in which hundreds died.

None of the envoys from Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States commented as they left however.

The United States, Britain and France are considering a military strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces over the suspected chemical weapons attack. Russia and China oppose any UN-sanctioned action however and have warned the western nations against any attack.

Britain’s UN ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said Russia, Assad’s key backer, had called the latest meeting.

“I hope that means that they (the Russians) are now prepared to support the British draft resolution,” Lyall Grant told reporters as he went into the talks.