The US and Russia traded barbs in the Security Council over Syria as both accused each other of destabilizing the country.
The US representative Linda Thomas Greenfield said that “while resolution 2254 (2015) remains the road map, progress continues to be elusive due to steadfast opposition by the Assad regime and its backers, including Russia”.
She further said that United States sanctions will remain in place until there is measurable progress towards a political solution.
Meanwhile Russia asked the US to withdraw its illegal military presence from Syria calling it a hindrance in the peace process.
The Russian representative Dmitry A Polyanskiy said “that the United States presidency of the Council has turned the meeting “into a useless anti-Syrian comedy show”, adding that there is no alternative to advancing a Syrian-led political-settlement process.”
He further added that “While terrorism continues to be a major threat to Syria and the region, the illegal military presence of the United States is another destabilizing factor.”
He therefore called for the withdrawal of all military contingents illegally located in that country.”
Echoing similar views, Iran’s delegate stressed that Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are persistently violated through the occupation of certain areas by illegal foreign forces. “On the political track, there is no alternative to pursuing a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned settlement with UN assistance,” said, Amir Saeid Iravani.
France’s delegate recounted that the United Nations has extensively documented the systematic use of torture and sexual violence by the regime. According to Nathalie Broadhurst Estival sanctions adopted by the European States aim to prevent these crimes. She also noted that, since the peaceful uprising of Syrian protesters in March 2011, the regime’s record is grim: 500,000 dead, 130,000 forcibly disappeared and 12 million displaced or turned into refugees.
The Syrian peoples both inside and outside Syria continues to suffer acutely from the conflict in all its dimensions. The economic situation has gotten worse, with the Syrian pound losing over 80 per cent in three months of its value, and prices from essential goods spiralling out of control. While minimum State salaries have been doubled to roughly $13 per month, a monthly food basket in June cost at least $81, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).