UN in closed-door talks on Syria

Posted on January 27, 2012

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The UN Security Council has met to consider a possible resolution against Syria’s government.

Dozens of people have died in an upsurge in violence this week, leading activists and the Arab League to urge the UN to take stronger action.

The Security Council is discussing a resolution supporting the Arab League’s call for political reform and for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

Russia, an ally of Mr Assad, has indicated it would not back the text.

“Such a call for support for Assad’s departure from his post in any UN Security Council resolution cannot be supported by us,” Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Interfax news agency.

Russia and China vetoed a previous draft resolution against Syria late last year.

The current draft largely supports a plan outlined by the Arab League earlier this week calling for Mr Assad to hand power to his deputy, who would form a national unity government with the opposition within two months.

The draft resolution calls for further measures if the Syrian government does not comply with the call for political transition.

Moscow is concerned that any outside intervention would fuel a civil and sectarian war, and there are others on the Security Council who fear the same, says the BBC’s Barbara Plett at the UN headquarters in New York.

She says it is unclear if the draft can be revised to meet Russia’s concerns.

BBC

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