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UNSC continues talks for a Syria resolution, nearing ‘better understanding’

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Laaska News Feb. 2, 2012          

Some progress has been made in the discussion of a draft resolution on Syria, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after a closed session at the UN on Wednesday, RT reports

“We have a much better understanding of what we need to do to reach a consensus,” Churkin stated.

 UNSC continues talks for a Syria resolution

The United Nations Security Council is continuing talks to try to reach consensus over a Syria resolution.

Members of the council and representatives from the Arab League met in an unofficial session on Wednesday one day after they failed to reach agreement on a Syria peace plan proposed by the League.

The plan calls for Syria to immediately end the crackdown on anti-government protesters. It urges President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy and to hold an election to form a new government.

Western nations have expressed support for the plan, but Russia says priority must be given to promoting dialogue between the Syrian government and the protesters.

Sources close to the talks said that, on Wednesday, the western nations urged Russia to make a concession, but that Russia insisted that a resolution must include a wording indicating that the international community would not intervene militarily.

After the talks, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said that he thought the participants now had a much better understanding of what they need to do to reach consensus.

US Ambassador Susan Rice said she was not sure a consensus could be reached but the talks will continue on Thursday.

NHK.

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UNSC nearing ‘better understanding’ on Syrian resolution

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Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Ja’fari asks permission to address the Security Council during a meeting on Syria January 31, 2012 at the United Nations in New York (AFP Photo / Don Emmert)

Some progress has been made in the discussion of a draft resolution on Syria, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after a closed session at the UN on Wednesday.
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­“We have a much better understanding of what we need to do to reach a consensus,” Churkin stated.
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Russia still opposes any phrasing in the draft that could bring military intervention or regime change in Syria.
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Before the session, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Security Council members that they must decide whether to support the Syrian people, or a “brutal, dictatorial regime.”
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The UNSC is not expected to vote on a resolution until next week.
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The world community should not take sides in the Syrian conflict, but stand back and allow Assad’s regime and the opposition to engage in political dialogue, John Glaser, assistant editor with Antiwar.com, told RT.
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“It is not the business of the US or the UN Security Council to go around implementing regime change. That is not what they should be doing,” he said. “All sides should end support for all sides and encourage dialogue and an end to violence.”
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Military intervention is no solution to the violence in Syria, Glaser observed.
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“As we have seen with Western interventions, particularly US-led interventions, they turn into all sorts of extra violence that cannot be contained, and all sorts of unintended consequences that should be an immediate game-changer for any intervention.”

RT.
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Calls to stop Syria ‘killing machine’ at UN as Russia, China slam sanctions

.1 February, 2012
A major diplomatic battle over the fate of Syria has begun at the United Nations, with Russia and China the only permanent Security Council members challenging the UN’s right to ‘meddle’ in sovereign states’ internal problems.
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Proponents of the West-sponsored draft resolution are calling for Syria’s President Bashar Assad to step down, the release of all prisoners and the withdrawal of troops from Syrian cities, among other things.
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Numerous accusations of crimes against its population were leveled against the Syrian regime, justifying the rallying cry of “Assad must go,” which has been voiced by Western countries and their allies for several months now.

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­‘Syrian killing machine at work’
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Speakers at the meeting constantly accused the Syrian regime of unconscionable violence, with the Qatari PM emphasizing that if the Syrian ‘killing machine’ is not stopped, it may come to commit ‘crimes against humanity.’
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US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton claimed that Assad’s forces ‘clearly initiate most of the attacks on civilians’ in Syria, and called for an end to Assad’s ‘brutal, failed dictatorship.’
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Meanwhile, the British delegate declared that if the Assad regime does not cease its violence, the UNSC would consider ‘harsher measures.’
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­Defense line
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­In the hope of convincing Russia and other resolution opponents to change their minds ahead of a vote later this week, speakers supporting the draft resolution repeatedly maintained that there would be no Libya-style scenario in Syria.
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“I know that some members here are concerned that we are headed toward another Libya,” Hillary Clinton said. “That is a false analogy. Syria is a unique situation that requires its own approach, tailored to the specific circumstances on the ground.”
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Russia remains unconvinced and maintained its line on the issue, saying that the international community should not “meddle” in Syria’s domestic conflict. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin stated that sanctions could risk heating up the conflict, and called for both sides to cease violence.
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Moscow “rejects any sanction approaches, any attempts to use the Security Council instruments to fuel the conflict, to justify a military intervention,” the Russian ambassador said.
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“The Council cannot dictate parameters for an internal political settlement; it has no authority for it.”
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China backed the belief that further sanctions would only complicate Syria’s situation, with the Chinese delegate stating that the Syrian people’s request for reforms must be respected – but with the involvement of both sides in the conflict.
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Russia also invited representatives of both the Syrian government and opposition to Moscow to discuss their national agenda without any restrictions, an offer received warmly by the Syrian government. Deputy spokesman for the US State Department Mark Toner called such a meeting less important than “to hold the regime’s feet to the fire.”
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‘Disinformation campaign’
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The Chief of the Arab League and the Prime Minister of Qatar briefed the Security Council on their standpoint on Syria, saying that the whole Arab world is looking forward to a clear resolution. Qatari PM Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim added that there is no demand for regime change in Syria, as it is ‘up to the Syrian people’ to decide what happens next.
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Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said the Arab League observers’ report on Syria is part of a massive ‘disinformation campaign’ against the country, reminding those present that Syria had offered the observer mission an extension, while the Arab League turned the idea down.
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Jaafari accused the resolution’s backers of ‘aggressive interference’ in Syrian internal affairs and of pushing for colonialism’s return to Syria, maintaining that Syrians are capable of dealing with their ‘decisive challenges,’ on their own.
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­UN resolutions ‘pour fuel onto the fire’
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Jacob Hornberger, the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, told RT that the only thing UN resolutions can do is “pour fuel onto the fire.”
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“That is the whole idea of these resolutions,” he explained. The real thrust of any resolution on Syria would be regime change, he added: “It begins with sanctions. It goes into embargoes, blockades. But ultimately, the quest is to remove a dictatorship, and install a US regime even if it happens to be a dictatorship.”
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And Ali Rizk, an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, believes Russia’s firm stance on the issue – and its veto power in the UNSC – will keep President Bashar Assad’s enemies from toppling his government.
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“I think we are heading towards people taking into consideration the Russian proposal of power-sharing, with Bashar Assad staying in power,” he told RT.

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­Neil Clark, a journalist and contributor to the Guardian, believes that Russia’s stance on Syria has much more international support than one may assume.
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“It would be mistake for the Russians to think that they are isolated,” he said. “They are not, they have world opinion. It’s just the West which shouts the loudest. Britain, France, America, Israel, a few Arab states backed by the West – this is not the world. This is not the international community.”

RT.

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