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Britain and France Circulate New Anti-Syria Resolution at the U.N.

Written by kumaran   // June 9, 2011   // Comments Off

david camaroon British Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons, London Wednesday June 8, 2011

Britain and France circulated a revised draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday that would condemn the Syrian government for using force against its own civilians, but would scrupulously avoid a call for military action or any sanctions against the Syrian government.

A vote on the resolution was expected in the coming days, diplomats said.

An attempt by European members of the Security Council to condemn Syria at the United Nations has been rebuffed in recent weeks as the willingness to intervene in the region has dissipated following the intervention in Libya by NATO, acting on a Security Council resolution condemning the violence against the opposition in Libya to the rule of Col.

Muammar el-Qaddafi. China and Russia, both veto-wielding permanent members of the 15-member Security Council, have been resistant to support even a press statement condemning Syria, fearing that it could be a prelude to a similarly aggressive intervention.

Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the UN, said Wednesday that Russia did not support a resolution on Syria. “We are not persuaded it can help establish dialogue and reach a political settlement,” he said. “We’re concerned it will

have the opposite effect.”
United Nations diplomats said Russia, a powerful ally of Syria, was using the situation in Libya as a justification to oppose action in Syria, arguing that NATO’s risky intervention in Libya, under a United Nations mandate to protect civilians, had gone too far and risked becoming a protracted stalemate.

Similar reservations have also been expressed by other members of the council, including South Africa, India and Brazil.

Voicing American support for a resolution condemning the violence used by the Syrian government against its own people, Susan E. Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, said Wednesday that some countries on the Security Council were disingenuously using Libya as a pretext not to pass a resolution on Syria. “We will be on the right side of history,” she said.

French and British diplomats said Wednesday they had revised the language of the original resolution with the aim of making it politically untenable for Russia or China to block it.

The new draft, which diplomats said had only been slightly amended, condemns the Syrian government for using force against its own civilians but falls short of calling for an arms embargo or introducing sanctions. It also calls for an independent investigation of the recent killings by Syrian forces during antigovernment demonstrations. It notes that the “widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in Syria by the authorities against its people may amount to crimes against humanity” under international law.

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