UNITED NATIONS: France asked the UN Security Council Thursday to authorize countries to “take all necessary measures” to fight the Islamic State group after the jihadists claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.
A draft resolution presented to the 15-member council called on UN member states to “redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts” committed by IS and other extremist groups linked to Al-Qaeda.
The French draft resolution does not provide any legal basis for military action and does not invoke chapter seven of the UN charter that authorizes the use of force.
French diplomats maintain, however, that it will provide important international political support to the anti-IS campaign that has been ramped up since the attacks in Paris on Friday that left 129 dead.
“The exceptional and unprecedented threat posed by this group to the entire international community requires a strong, united and unambiguous response from the Security Council,” French Ambassador Francois Delattre said.
“This is the goal of our draft resolution, which calls on all member states to take all necessary measures to fight Daesh (IS).”
Delattre said he was seeking rapid approval of the draft resolution that was “put in blue” a UN term designating that a final version is ready for a vote at the Security Council.
France’s bid for UN backing came after Russia submitted a revised text of a separate draft resolution that calls for fighting the IS group with Syria’s consent.
That draft has been rejected by the United States, Britain and France, which are refusing to cooperate with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, whom they accuse of fomenting extremism by resorting to brutality.
British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, whose country chairs the council this month, said the Russian measure “seeks to legitimize the authority of Assad” and added that it did “not have much prospect.”
Russia and the West have been unable to overcome differences over Assad’s future, with the United States and its European and Gulf allies pressing for a clear timetable for the Syrian leader to exit from power.
Sounding a conciliatory note, Moscow’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin indicated that he did not have any objections to the French text, and suggested that the Russian measure could be adopted at a later time.
Churkin recalled that after the September 11, 2001 attacks, there was a first resolution adopted quickly, followed by a broader one, and said “it may well be that we will go down that road again.”
The French draft text describes IS as a “global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security” and said sanctions would soon be imposed against IS group leaders and supporters.
The text “unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist attacks” by the Islamic State group in Paris and Beirut, and also mentions violence in Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt this year.
French President Francois Hollande is due to meet Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and US leader Barack Obama next week for talks aimed at stepping up the campaign against the extremists, who have overrun large areas of Syria and Iraq in a brutal offensive.