The UN Security Council has voted for a technical extension for the UN observer mission in Syria for 30 days as the previous one expires on July 20
July 20 -The new extension comes as UNSC members work out a compromise of two proposals on the table – one by Pakistan, which suggested extending the mission for 45 days, and the other by Britain, which offered a 30-day extension. However, Britain’s offer came with the condition that Assad withdraws all troops from residential neighborhoods.
The draft resolution was submitted by France, Germany, Portugal, and the UK.
Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said that the resolution was called final because some members of the UN Security Council wanted “to send a political signal” and “to put some pressure on both sides,” but the resolutions may be prolonged if both sides halted the violence.
“We are glad because, first of all, the resolution is balanced and second, we appreciate the role the UN mission observers have played and will play in the Syrian conflict. We were the initiators who launched this mission, that is why we believe that is important to extend it,” Russia’s Ambassador to the UN said.
The US envoy to the UN Susan Rice explained that the resolution is called “final” as 30 days is the limit within which the mission should be withdrawn safely and in “an orderly fashion.” If the violence decreases, there is the possibility of an extension.
“And we hope very much that the withdrawal will be conducted with a principle priority placed on the security of the UN personnel,” she said.
Rice said the UNSC had found itself at a dead end while trying to find a solution to the Syrian crisis. That is why, she said, Washington will concentrate on the work with non-UNSC members.
“The US will intensify our work with countries outside the UNSC – particularly the 100+ countries supporting the Friends of Syria process,” Rice said.
Russia had initially threatened to veto the British proposal as Moscow initially supported the Pakistani draft resolution.
The 15-nation council went into emergency consultations in a bid to avoid a second Russia veto on a Syria in 24 hours and a fourth since the start of the crisis in March last year.
On Thursday Russia and China vetoed the Chapter 7 resolution drafted by Britain, which would also allow the council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.
He stressed that the main thing is that the resolution contains calls to both sides to end the violence.
The UN monitoring mission in Syria was deployed 90 days ago as part of international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan to end the 16-month conflict that has killed thousands.
UN extends Syrian mission for 30 days
The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a 30-day extension of a ceasefire monitoring mission in Syria whose mandate expired July 20.
The project is based on the British and Pakistani –proposed draft resolutions. The Pakistani draft envisaged a 45-day extension without any preliminary conditions while the West proposed a 30-day extension but wanted Damascus to stop the violence and to withdraw heavy weapons from Syrian cities.
Russia’s envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin praised the adopted project as a well-balanced one and is happy that the document urges a ceasefire among the warring parties for. This amendment was put forward by Russia and China.
Vote on extending UN Syria mission postponed
The UN Security Council has postponed the vote on extending the mandate of the UN observers in Syria.
There are two drafts on the table. One, sponsored by Pakistan and also backed by Russia and China, would extend the mandate by 45 days unconditionally.
The other, sponsored by the UK, would extend the mandate by 30 days, provided the Syrian government removes heavy weapons from populated areas.
Russia, China veto UNSC resolution on Syria
Russia and China have vetoed the United Nations Security Council resolution that threatened Syria with more sanctions.
Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN Security Council resolution on Thursday that threatened Syrian authorities with sanctions if they did not stop using heavy weapons against an uprising and withdraw troops from towns and cities.
It was the third time that Russia, a key ally of the Syrian government, and China have used their veto power to block U.N. Security Council resolutions designed to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and halt the violence in the 16-month conflict that has killed thousands of people.
New confirmation of US double-standard policy
Russia and China have blocked the approval of the Western draft resolution on Syria, which envisaged sanctions against Damascus. Moscow and Beijing used their right of veto and are still committed to the continuation of political dialogue for the settlement of the Syrian crisis. Meanwhile on July 20, the mandate of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria expires. After the intrigue regarding the mission’s prolongation lingered in the UN Security Council now it looks like 300 unarmed servicemen will stay in that country.
It is quite likely that on Friday the UN Security Council will approve the resolution on the technical prolongation of the mission for 30 more days. By now the mission has worked for 90 days in Syria. Russia’s permanent ambassador in the UN Vitaly Churkin expressed confidence that the mission would be prolonged. The diplomat also welcomed Pakistan’s intention to submit its draft on the technical prolongation of the mission to the UN Security Council.
Russia plans to increase its monitor mission in Syria by 30 servicemen. President Putin signed the ruling to that effect about Russia’s willingness to dispatch up to 30 liaison and staff officers, as well as military observers to the UN monitor mission at the expense of the United Nations.
The intrigue regarding the mission’s prolongation lingered after Russia and China vetoed the draft resolution on Syria proposed by the UK. That draft contained a proposal to prolong the UN mission but also the initiative to introduce tough sanctions against the regime of Damascus and an option to use military force if Damascus did not withdraw troops from Syrian cities. Russia and China’s veto of that unilateral resolution suspended the question about the mission’s technical prolongation. However, right after the vote the ambassadors of Russia and China in the UN Vitaly Churkin and Li Baodong said that they would vote for the prolongation.
The US reaction to it was inadequate. Washington said that it would support the prolongation of the mission’s mandate only if a tough anti-Syrian resolution is approved, in other words the resolution aimed at overthrowing Bashar Assad’s regime. In fact the UN supervision mission served as a bargaining chip for the US plans on Syria. Later the US position slightly changed. Washington made a statement that it was ready to consider the mission’s prolongation.
The US reaction to the terrorist attacks in Damascus, in which three generals were killed including Syria’s Defense Minister, was quite remarkable. The US statement did not contain any condemnation of the attacks. Moreover Barack Obama accused Bashar Assad of what had happened saying that the assassinations of the ministers were the consequences of his policy.
At the same time Barack Obama condemned the terrorist attack in Bulgaria where a suicide bomber carried out the attack that killed eight people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists, because that attack concerned Israel’s international image. Obama’s statement expressed firm determination to support its Mideast ally. Again the US activates its double-standard policy mechanism, fighting terrorism when it is targeted against its allies and ignoring attacks when the targets are US opponents. We hear from Sergey Demidenko, an analyst at the Institute of Strategic Studies.
“The US has once again confirmed its position regarding the priorities of its foreign policy. It supports its ally on any issues and ignores the negative events their opponents live through. This time Washington repeatedly made it clear that it would not revise its foreign policy. Actually it never did it in its history. The goals and priorities of the US foreign policy on the Middle East are unchangeable and they won’t change. It sounds trivial but it is so. The US reaction to the events in Burgas and Damascus has confirmed it.”
Meanwhile the reports about the ongoing military actions in Syria are controversial. The opposition claims that it has taken control over all the checkpoints on the border with Iraq and two check points on the border with Turkey. The authorities deny this information. It has been rumored that Damascus is preparing repressions in response to the murders of Bashar Assad’s associates. The authorities have warned the population that in some regions the insurgents dressed in the uniform of government troops are going to perpetrate massacres and later shift the blame on the military.
TASS, Interfax, RIA, RT
Jul 20, 2012