UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura on Wednesday called for cooperation between the US and Russia on Syria's conflict, which he said, could help pave the way for a "real negotiation" on a settlement.
Washington and Moscow "must find a way to work together to stabilise the situation in a deliberate, realistic and concerted way in support of the political process," he told the UN Security Council (UNSC), which met to discuss the US cruise missile strikes on Syria in retaliation for a chemical attack.
"Let us view this moment of crisis... and it is a moment of crisis ... as a watershed and an opportunity for a new level of seriousness in the search for a political solution — Staffan de Mistura
Security Council vote
The council was meeting ahead of a vote later in the day on a draft resolution demanding that the Syrian regime cooperate with an investigation of the chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Shaykhun that killed scores, many of them children.
The war in Syria has culminated into the worst humanitarian disaster in over half-a-century. Some argue that the scale of the crisis even surpasses World War II. Nearly five million Syrians have become refugees, according to the United Nations.
Russia is expected to veto the measure — which would mark the eighth time that Moscow has used its veto power to block Security Council action directed at Syria.
"Iran dumping fuel on flames"
Meanwhile, the US envoy to the Council Nikki Haley said that the US is ready to work towards a diplomatic solution to end the war in Syria, saying "We are ready to throw our weight and resources behind diplomacy. We are ready to help bring this conflict to an end."
Busy day. Security council mtg on Political situation in Syria at 10am. Vote at 3:00. It will be very telling.
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) April 12, 2017
The US ambassador, however, added that a US commitment to the peace process was "not enough," and that Washington needed "partners who are serious about using their influence" over Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad.
She spoke as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US envoy took aim at Russia, saying it must "stop covering for Assad" and accused Iran of "dumping fuel on the flames of this war in Syria so that it can expand its own reach."