UN Security Council members head for informal meeting in Sweden

STOCKHOLM (dpa)- After weeks of tense and fruitless negotiations over Syria, UN Security Council members are due to arrive in Sweden on Friday for an informal working meeting withnio Gu UN Secretary General Antoterres.
All 15 top diplomats from the Security Council countries are confirmed to attend the weekend retreat, including the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Russia's Vassily Nebenzia, Sweden's deputy UN ambassador Carl Skau told reporters in New York ahead of the trip.

The council has convened on Syria six times since an alleged chemical attack on Douma on April 7, but continually failed to agree on action in its wake.
Russia has denied chemical weapons were used, while the United States, France and Britain have accused Moscow of using its position on the council to shield Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, who they say is likely responsible.
The council's session was due to open Saturday and held at Backakra, the newly renovated summer residence of late UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjold.
The annual retreat usually takes place in Long Island, close to New York city, but the UN accepted an invitation to visit Sweden, which is currently a member of the council.
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has said she hoped the venue would contribute to a better atmosphere after "a period of heated discussions."
The diplomats were to visit a pan-European research facility, the European Spallation Source, near the southern city of Lund on Friday afternoon. Still under construction, it will be used to study different materials.

Friday, April 20th 2018

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