NZ welcomes US-Russia plan on Syria
New Zealand foreign affairs minister Murray McCully has told TV One’s Q+A programme he welcomes a US-Russia plan as the best hope for a resolution to the Syria situation.
Speaking from San Francisco, Mr Cully says the plan is “the best way forward we’ve seen so far”.
The plan calls for Syria to give up its chemical weapons by mid-2014. The move comes weeks after a chemical attack on a Damascus suburb.
The US says the Syrian government headed by Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the attack which allegedly killed 1400 people, while Russia says rebel fighters are responsible. Neither side has produced evidence to back their claims.
Mr McCully says at last the world will see the United Nations Security Council play some sort of role in the crisis.
“We’ve made it very clear from the outset that we’d prefer to see these matters dealt with in the multilateral environment of the Security Council. We’ve been disappointed that the Security Council hasn’t been able to meet in full. The P5 members have been meeting amongst themselves, not the full Security Council. We think that’s a bad way to try and deal with the sort of crisis that the UN Security Council was established to deal with. We understand the US position perfectly, but we’ve said we want to exhaust the multilateral process before we look at anything outside it. We freely accept that we might get to a position where countries do have to think outside that multilateral environment, but we prefer not to rush into that space,” Mr McCully says.