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Russia vows to Block UN move on Syria’s al-Assad

(DP-News - agencies)

Russia vowed to block any United Nations Security Council resolution that calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power.

Such demands “will simply never get approval,” Alexander Lukashevich, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said by telephone from Moscow today.

“This should be a matter for dialogue between the Syrians themselves and shouldn’t be imposed through a resolution.” he added.

The Arab League, which has monitors in Syria, “should be facilitating dialogue” between President al-Assad and his opponents rather than trying to impose a solution, Lukashevich said.



Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that his country wouldn’t back UN decisions that endorsed unilateral sanctions by Arab and Western states or opened the way for foreign armed intervention in Syria.

"We cannot support proposals under which unilateral sanctions are imposed against Syria without any consultations with Russia, China and other BRICS countries," Lavrov said on Wednesday.

Calling the moves by the UN Security Council against Syria "unfair" and "counter-productive," he said that Russia is also ready for dialogue with its partners in the Security Council.



Indeed, Russia presented its own draft of a UN resolution regarding Syria. And as Lavrov said, it remains on the table.

The UN Security Council is expected to vote over the next few days on the Western-Arab draft resolution aimed at making President al-Assad cede power, paving the way for a coalition government with the opposition.

­It comes as the Arab League's monitoring mission to Syria suffered a setback after six countries pulled out, calling on the UN to act.



It is expected, however, that the new draft will replace the Russian text, which Western diplomats say is too weak and no longer relevant in light of the Arab League’s call for Assad to hand power to his deputy.

With reports of the continually growing death toll in the conflict, the earlier proposal being floated of increasing the numbers of observers on the ground and providing them with UN training could have been a lifesaving one. But now those plans have been put on hold.



The U.S. has criticized Russia for blocking sanctions against Syria and supplying weaponry to its Soviet-era ally. Syria received a shipment of Russian ammunition this month and has also signed a $550 million deal for 26 Yak-130 jet trainer aircraft, according to the Kommersant newspaper.

Russia has been wary of any UN-backed use of military action, such as the operation that eventually helped topple Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.



UN diplomats say France, Britain and Germany have been working with Arab nations on a new Security Council resolution on Syria, the main goal of which, they say, is a democratic transition from President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year regime.

Arab and Western nations are seeking to pass a UN resolution supporting the Arab League’s call for Assad to step down and facilitate a peaceful transfer of power. Russia, as a permanent Security Council member, can veto any resolution.

Qatar, the U.K. and the U.S. are among countries seeking to overcome Russian opposition to a change of regime in Syria, where at least 5,000 people have been killed in the past 10 months during the crackdown on anti-government unrest, according to the UN.



The latest UN resolution proposal “condemns the continued and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms” by Syrian authorities and calls for President Bashar al-Assad to implement Arab League resolutions for a “political transition,” according to a copy of the document obtained by Bloomberg.

But their appeal to the UN does not seem to change the situation radically, as Russia remains firmly opposed to intervention and the imposition of sanctions against Syria.



Russia in October vetoed by a bid at the UN by the European Union and the U.S. to condemn Assad and threaten sanctions, arguing he needed time to implement promised political changes

On Jan. 23, Syria rejected an Arab League proposal to form a national unity government within two months to implement a peaceful handover of power, describing it as a violation of its sovereignty.



Although Damascus allowed the mission to be extended for another month and the observers officially saying they can continue with their task, behind the scenes things are much less optimistic

And with deep divisions – both regionally and internationally – over what action to take to end the violence, hopes of ending the crisis seem to be slipping further and further out of reach.



Having waved goodbye to their Gulf State colleagues, some observers remain – but it’s small consolation.

“Syria didn’t close the doors on the Arab League and I think Syria will give anyone the chance to help Syrians but the last decision is in the hands of the Syrian people – not the Arab League and Security Council – through national dialogue and through reforms,” says Dr. Bassam Abu Abdullah.

Visitors Comments          Number of Comments (2)
2
Russia vows to Block UN move on Syria’s al-Assad
Sarjeet Gill            1/28/2012 12:54:12 AM
The headline, "Russia vows to Block UN move on Syria’s al-Assad" is hardly news. Most ordinary people know that Russia is advancing it's own interest. This does not imply that the US is not advancing its own intersts when it suggests that al-Assad step down. The US had supported as-Assad when its iterests were served. Having said all this I am not implying that as-Assad should be allowed to remain in power. al-Assad and many other dictators of deserve the fate of Mohd. Gadaffi. Sorry - I am an angry man.
1
Prof
TRSmith            1/28/2012 12:30:05 AM
I'm sure the Syrian people will remember Russia fondly after they have overthrown regime.
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