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UN Security Council Unanimously Votes Up Resolution Backing the International Syria Support Group Process

Dec. 18, 2015 (EIRNS)—The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution this afternoon on Syria, a followup to the two recent Vienna meetings of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), and a third meeting of the ISSG that took place at the Palace Hotel in Manhattan prior to the UNSC meeting. According to statements to the UNSC meeting by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the resolution, numbered 2254, is based on the documents adopted by the ISSG in its Vienna meetings.

Kerry said that the resolution gives the Syrian people a choice between war and peace and between violent extremes and a newly empowered political center. The timelines in the resolution of six months to "credible, inclusive, nonsectarian governance" and 18 months to an internationally supervised election, were first agreed on in the Vienna meetings, Kerry said. Kerry stressed that the U.S. view remains that Assad must go, that he lacks the moral credibility to unite the country, and that this is "a matter of fact," but this is clearly not in the resolution.

In his remarks to the council, Lavrov stressed that the resolution is based on the principles of the 2012 Geneva communiqué and the two Vienna documents. All three documents, he said, "are the single platform for resolving bloody Syria crisis." Lavrov’s second point was that the resolution provides a basis in international law for resolving the conflict. "Only Syrian-led inclusive dialogue can put an end to suffering of Syrian people," he said, adding that the resolution recognizes that only the Syrian people can decide their political future and not external forces. Lavrov’s third point was to emphasize the role of the UN Secretary General and his special envoy Staffan de Mistura in the negotiations that are to take place between the Syrian government and the recognized opposition, which are to begin in January, and in the process leading to a national election in Syria 18 months hence. "We are confident the Secretary General and de Mistura will heed these instructions, and be guided by task of assisting in the finding of a mutually acceptable agreement as required by this resolution," Lavrov said.