Friday, December 16, 2011

Russia Surprises West by Proposing U.N. Resolution on Syria

Russia on Thursday surprised the Western powers by proposing a U.N. Security Council resolution on the Syrian crisis, as France hailed the move as "an extraordinary event."

As a key ally of President Bashar al-Assad, Russia has tried to head off Security Council intervention in the Syria crisis. With China, it vetoed a council resolution proposed by European nations in October condemning Assad's crackdown on protests which the U.N. says has left 5,000 dead.

Russia called emergency talks of the 15 nation body on Syria however to propose the new resolution which western diplomats said they did not find acceptable but could be negotiated on.

The Russian resolution strongly condemns the violence by "all parties, including disproportionate use of force by Syrian authorities," according to a copy obtained by Agence France Presse.

The draft also raises concern over "the illegal supply of weapons to the armed groups in Syria."

The French envoy to the United Nations welcomed Moscow’s move, saying it was "an extraordinary event."

"Russia has decided to move on the resolution project ... We think that it is because Russia has felt the pressure of the international community," France's envoy to the U.N., Gerard Araud, told journalists.

Meanwhile, a Western diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity that the draft resolution was "unbalanced."

"At the moment, from our point of view, it is unbalanced. We have no firm evidence of any arms trafficking," the diplomat said.

"We would be opposed to anything which puts the opposition violence on the same level as that of the government," another council diplomat said. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because talks on the resolution are confidential.

Russian diplomats did not immediately comment on the resolution or its contents.


Hey, I guess democracy in Russia has some benefits after all. The devil you know, or the devil you know


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