US drawing up new UN resolution on Syria
UNITED NATIONS: The United States is drawing up a new draft UN
Security Council resolution on Syria demanding humanitarian access to
protest cities where thousands have been killed, diplomats said Tuesday.
If put to a vote it would be the third time Western nations have
tried to get a Security Council resolution on the 11 month old crisis.
Britain, France and Germany, with Arab support, took the lead on the
last two resolutions, which were vetoed by Russia and China. “This
resolution will concentrate on humanitarian access to the cities, but it
will indicate that the government is the cause of the crisis,” one
“At the moment there are just tentative contacts on the resolution,”
another Security Council diplomat said, confirming work on the outline.
“It has not been sent to the whole council and we don't know when this
will happen.” The United Nations says that more than 7,500 people have
been killed in Syria since the eruption nearly one year ago of popular
protests against the Assad family's 40-year reign.
Western nations hope that focusing on the humanitarian crisis will
persuade Russia and China not to use their powers as permanent members
of the 15-member council to veto any resolution.
The two powers blocked the last two attempts, saying the resolutions
were aimed only at overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday that a resolution
on a “humanitarian ceasefire and access for humanitarian aid” was under
discussion at the Council.
“I solemnly appeal to Russia and China that they do not block this
new resolution at the Security Council,” Juppe said at the French
French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said the text calls
for a halt to violence and “immediate, unhindered access for
humanitarian aid to the most threatened sites and the most vulnerable
populations.” The earlier resolutions had specifically sought to condemn
Assad for the violence and had hinted at further action, which had
hardened opposition by Russia and China.
Work on the new draft started after the Friends of Syria meeting in
Tunis last week, diplomats said. Western and Arab foreign ministers
attended the meeting but Russia and China stayed away. US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton said in Tunis that the Russian and Chinese action
on Syria had been “despicable”. AFP