UN mulls revised condemnation of Syria

2011-06-09 08:02

New York - European nations seeking to increase pressure on President Bashar Assad's regime presented a revised resolution to the United Nations on Wednesday condemning Syria for its deadly crackdown on protesters.

Britain, France, Germany and Portugal introduced the new text at a closed Security Council meeting in New York as Syrian troops and tanks made their way to the northern part of the country where soldiers reportedly have joined an anti-government uprising. Witnesses said they feared an attack was imminent.

UN diplomats said the new draft, which has strong US backing, is aimed at winning more support for the resolution in the UN Security Council and avoiding a Russian veto.

"We will be on the right side of history if and when this comes to a vote," said Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations. "If others are unable to, or unwilling to, then that will be their responsibility to bear."

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin reiterated that Moscow would not support the resolution on the grounds that it would not promote dialogue and help put an end to the violence.

"We are concerned it would have the opposite effect," Churkin said.

While Russia doesn't support the draft, Churkin declined to say on Wednesday whether Russia planned to veto the revised resolution.

Britain's UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said he hopes for a vote in the coming days. No one answered the phone late on Wednesday at Syria's mission to the UN.

Immediate end to violence

The resolution needs nine "yes" votes to be adopted by the 15-member council, and no veto by a permanent member - the US, Russia, China, Britain and France.

Britain, France, Germany and Portugal circulated the original draft resolution on May 26, and diplomats said they have nine "yes" votes to adopt it, but they are hoping for additional support, possibly from South Africa and Brazil.

The latest text, obtained late on Wednesday by The Associated Press, demands an immediate end to the violence, condemns human rights abuses and calls on Syria to allow immediate access to international human rights monitors and humanitarian agencies and workers.

The draft calls for political reforms that would allow "genuine political participation", and the release of all political prisoners.

It also calls upon all countries to prevent the supply of arms to Syria and for the immediate lifting of restrictions on media. Syria severely restricts local media and has expelled foreign journalists from the country.

Lyall Grant would not say how the new text differs from the original version.

"Our concern is that the country could fall into a civil war. We do think that the council has to act," said France's Ambassador to the UN, Gerard Araud.

US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said Washington was trying to secure the backing of other members.

"Such a resolution will bring added pressure on Assad's regime and advance the international community's efforts to end the brutal repression on the Syrian people," Toner said.

Internal planning

One US official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning, said the US doesn't want to bring a resolution to a vote if it isn't going to prevail. The goal is to win the vote, not to embarrass obstructing countries, the official said.

The sponsors believe Russia, China, India and Lebanon are very unlikely to support it, but the question is whether Russia, or possibly China, would cast a veto and kill it.

Earlier on Wednesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke in London and warned: "if anyone votes against that resolution or tries to veto it, that should be on their conscience."

Major Western powers have urged Assad's regime to halt the crackdown, enact reforms or step aside. Activists say more than 1 300 Syrians, most of them civilians, have died since the start of the nationwide uprising 11 weeks ago.

The resolution is separate from another effort to bring Syria before the Security Council over its nuclear programme.

The United States and its allies are pushing ahead with efforts to bring Syria before the Security Council for failure to co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, despite opposition from China and Russia.

- AP

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Parties serve urgent application over Tlakula

Opposition parties have filed an urgent application in the Electoral Court over their demand that IEC chair Pansy Tlakula must resign, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Cape Town - 17:58 PM
    Road name: M3 Outbound
    DELAYS between Woolsack Drive and the Rhodes Avenue exit
  • Thursday Table View - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Marine Drive Northbound
    DELAYS between Broad Road and Blaauwberg Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R1399.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.