UN considers revised condemnation of Syria

Updated: 2011-06-09 10:03


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UNITED NATIONS - 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.

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"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 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 Wednesday at Syria's mission to the UN.

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


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