Europe, Russia Disagree Over Resolution on Syria (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari, Canada 04/21/12)
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European nations and Russia proposed rival UN resolutions on Friday,
both calling for expanding the number of UN cease-fire monitors in
Syria from 30 to 300, but disagreeing on possible sanctions and on
how quickly the larger observer force should get on the ground.
The Associated Press reported that after several hours of
negotiations by Security Council experts, Russia circulated a merged
text, and council ambassadors met behind closed doors to discuss it.
Russia´s UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, was quoted as having said he
was “looking forward to adoption” of a resolution on Saturday.
Britain´s UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said, however, that “there
are some difficulties” with the new text.
The key difference in the original texts, both of which were obtained
by AP, is whether there should be a sustained cease-fire before the
expanded force is deployed.
The European draft, according to the report, would authorize a force
of 300 observers but condition its deployment to notification from
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Syria has implemented its pledge
to withdraw all troops and heavy weapons from cities and towns “to
The draft resolution stresses that it is critically important to
create “a sustained cessation of violence” and establish “a conducive
environment” for the large mission to deploy.
In contrast, the draft proposed by Russia would immediately establish
the 300-strong force without any conditions, though it does underline
the importance that international envoy Kofi Annan´s attaches to
Syria´s withdrawal of troops and weapons.
Another difference in the texts is whether Syria should face possible
sanctions if it fails to send its troops and heavy weapons back to
The European draft expresses the Council´s intention, in the event of
Syrian non-compliance, to adopt non-military sanctions under Article
41 of the UN Charter, which would likely include economic measures
such as asset freezes, and travel bans. The Russian draft makes no
mention of such measures.
The Security Council united last Saturday for the first time since
the Syrian conflict began 13 months ago to adopt a resolution
authorizing the deployment of an advance team of up to 30 UN
Some of these observers have already arrived in the country and were
witness to some of the violence on Wednesday. Syrian security forces
opened fire on anti-regime demonstrators surrounding the cars of the
monitoring team, sending the observers speeding off and protesters
dashing for cover.
The violence in Syria has continued despite a cease-fire, brokered by
UN envoy Kofi Annan, which was supposed to go into effect last
At least 18 Syrian security forces were killed in a series of attacks
on Friday. In addition, local human rights groups reported that 13
civilians were killed across the country. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012
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