Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Middle east

European countries hand UN draft of Syria resolution

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-09

Britain, France, Portugal and Germany handed the UN Security Council a draft resolution condemning Syria’s deadly crackdown on months of anti-government protests on Wednesday, despite the possibility of a Russian veto.

REUTERS - Britain, France, Germany and Portugal handed the U.N. Security Council a draft resolution on Wednesday condemning Syria’s crackdown on protesters, despite the risk of a Russian veto. 

The U.N. ambassadors of the four European Union countries told reporters they presented the draft at a council meeting at which the 15-nation body was briefed by a senior U.N. official on the unrest in Syria.
 
There was no vote on the latest draft resolution, which may be amended further. British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the text had been revised to respond to developments in Syria and concerns raised by some council members.
 
“We hope that all members of the Security Council will be able to rally to it,” Lyall Grant said. “We hope that it will get overwhelming support and that we will be able to go to the vote in the next few days.”
 
Three months of popular unrest in Syria has cost more than 1,000 lives, according to human rights groups. French Ambassador Gerard Araud said the worsening situation made it necessary for the council to take a stand on the issue.
 
“Our concern is that the country could fall into a civil war,” he said. “The council has to act.”
 
Lyall Grant said negotiators would meet again to discuss the draft on Thursday morning. Several diplomats said there could be a vote on Friday.
 
The United States, which diplomats say has been reluctant to risk a Russian veto of a U.N. condemnation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will almost certainly ignore, is not a sponsor of the resolution. However, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Washington had offered its “strong support for that text.”
 
Russia and China, which both hold vetoes, have made clear they dislike the idea of council involvement, which they say could help to destabilize a strategic Middle Eastern country.
 
Comparisons with Libya 'disingenuous'?
 
Several diplomats told Reuters they expected Russia to veto the draft resolution, though others said they thought Moscow could be persuaded to abstain, in which case China would likely follow suit.
 
“I hear that the veto is inevitable,” one diplomat said.
 
Resolutions need nine votes in favor and no vetoes to pass.  If Russia and China abstained, the draft would be adopted, even if Lebanon, South Africa, India and Brazil voted against it.
 
While Russia has long been an ally and key arms supplier to Syria, diplomats said the Russians made clear they did not want a repeat of the NATO intervention in Libya, which Moscow believes has spun out of control beyond the original U.N.  mandate to protect civilians.
 
Without mentioning Russia, China and India by name, Rice dismissed the comparisons with Libya.
 
“We heard several council members, in some instances ... disingenuously, use Libya as an excuse, as a ploy to avoid the real issues that we are facing in Syria,” Rice said.
 
In a challenge to Russia and Beijing, British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament in London, “If anyone votes against that resolution or tries to veto it, that should be on their conscience.”
 
Like an earlier draft first circulated to council members last month, the latest text urges countries not to supply weapons to Damascus but does not provide for an actual arms embargo or other specific punitive measures.
 
The draft, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, condemns “systematic” human rights violations by Syrian authorities and says they may amount to crimes against humanity. But it also denounces violence against security forces.
 
One diplomat said the new amendments attempted to make the resolution look less like a prelude to further action such as the military intervention that NATO has conducted in Libya.
 
In particular, a new clause says that “the only solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process.”
 
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin gave no hints as to whether or not he planned to veto the draft resolution.
 
“Things are being crossed out (in the text),” he said as he entered the council chambers. “I need to see a clean copy.”

 

Date created : 2011-06-08

  • SYRIA

    Northwest Syria town braces for army onslaught

    Read more

COMMENT(S)