World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.N. Security Council will not renew the mandate of a U.N. observer mission in Syria, which is due to expire in the coming days, and will begin its withdrawal from the country, French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud said on Thursday.
"The mandate of UNSMIS is over on the 19th of August ... UNSMIS will fade out," said Araud, who is the president of the Security Council for the month of August. He said conditions for renewing the mandate had not been met.
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the permanent five Security Council members - Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain - and key regional players would meet on Syria in New York on Friday. He added that he regretted that the U.N. observer mission will end.
"It's regrettable that the citizens of the countries on the list have never participated in any act of terrorism against the US and yet they are being punished for acts of terrorism by citizens of other countries which are not on the list," said Zarif.
"We consider such threats against the Syrian leadership to be unacceptable," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
The White House said the preparations were similar to those undertaken by the Assad regime ahead of an apparent chemical attack on a rebel-held town in April.
Since suffering stroke in 2014, Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has largely avoided state functions and public activities
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