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Will France give Syria a chemical weapons ultimatum?

France has drafted a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Syria make a complete declaration of its chemical weapons program within 15 days or face sanctions.

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks during a press meeting at the Quai d' Orsay, in Paris, Tuesday, Sept. 10. Fabuis said France will float a resolution in the UN Security Council aimed at forcing Syria to make public its chemical weapons program, place it under international control, and dismantle it.

Jacques Brinon/AP

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An initial French draft UN Security Council resolution would demand that Syria make a complete declaration of its chemical weapons program within 15 days and immediately open all related sites to UN inspectors or face possible punitive measures, Reuters has learned.

The elements of the draft resolution, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, adds that the Security Council would intend "in the event of non-compliance by the Syrian authorities with the provisions of this resolution ... to adopt further necessary measures under Chapter VII" of the UN Charter.

Chapter 7 of the UN Charter covers the 15-nation Security Council's power to take steps ranging from sanctions to military interventions. It is the reference to Chapter 7, UN diplomats say, that has made Russia reluctant to support the initial French draft.

The draft also makes clear the council considers the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the chemical attack on Aug. 21 that killed hundreds and for other attacks. It would demand "the immediate cessation of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities."


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