Syria: ‘Cold War is back’ – UN chief

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antonio-guterres
United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres

The United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres has said the Cold War is “back with a vengeance”.

He also cautioned about the dangers of escalation over Syria.

Guterres, during the opening of a bad-tempered UN Security Council meeting warned that:

“The Cold War is back with a vengeance, but with a difference. The mechanisms and the safeguards to manage the risks of escalation that existed in the past no longer seem to be present.”

Highlights of the meeting:

  • The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, accused the US of using the suspected chemical attack as a pretext to overthrow the Assad government and “contain” Russia
  • The US ambassador accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons at least 50 times in seven years
  • France’s ambassador said Syria had gone “beyond the point of no return” and France would “shoulder its responsibility to end an intolerable threat to our collective security”

However, Guterres admonished countries to “act responsibly in these dangerous circumstances”.

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