Security Council to Vote on Sanctions on Syria (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 07/17/12)
INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS
INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS Articles-Index-Top
The United Nations Security Council will vote Wednesday on a Western-
backed resolution that threatens Syrian authorities with sanctions if
they do not stop using heavy weapons in towns, Reuters reported.
The vote will take place despite a declaration by Russia that it will
block the move.
The resolution, proposed by Britain, the United States, France and
Germany, would extend a UN observer mission in Syria for 45 days and
place international envoy Kofi Annan´s peace plan under Chapter 7 of
the UN Charter.
Chapter 7 allows the 15-member council to authorize actions ranging
from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention. U.S.
officials have said they are talking about sanctions on Syria, not
“Russia and China still expressed objection to Chapter 7, but when
challenged they were unable to come up with any convincing reasons
why,” Britain´s UN Ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, was quoted by
Reuters as having told reporters on Monday.
“Obviously, we´re happy to have further negotiations. We´ve scheduled
a vote for Wednesday afternoon,” he said.
According to the Western-backed resolution, Syria would face
sanctions if it does not stop using heavy weapons and withdraw its
troops from towns and cities within 10 days of the adoption of the
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on Monday that
Russia would block the Western-backed resolution because of the
threat of sanctions. Russia and China have previously vetoed
resolutions designed to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia has also put forward a resolution to extend the UN mission for
90 days, but it does not contain a threat of sanctions.
“If our partners decide to block our resolution no matter what, then
the UN mission will not have a mandate and will have to leave Syria.
That would be a pity,” said Lavrov.
Earlier on Monday, Russia complained that there are “elements of
blackmail” in the West´s position on Syria. The Western powers,
Moscow said, are attempting to link the extension of the mandate of
UN observers in Syria to a green light for using force against
The Security Council must decide the fate of the UN mission, known as
UNSMIS, before its mandate expires on Friday.
If the UN mission in Syria is renewed, Reuters noted, UN chief Ban Ki-
moon has recommended shifting the emphasis of the work of UNSMIS from
military observers to civilian staff focusing on a political solution
and issues including human rights.
UNSMIS suspended most of its monitoring activity on June 16 due to
increased risk from rising violence.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting was reported Monday in the heart of
Damascus, with the main highway to the south of the country severed.
Some of the worst fighting since the 16-month civil war began in
March 2011 was seen about a mile from the airport highway Monday
morning. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the
fighting was centered in the Damascus districts of Tadamon, Midan and
There have been reports that opposition forces currently control more
than 50 percent of the country. (IsraelNationalNews © 2011 07/17/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY