Friday, December 23, 2011

Russia revises anti-Syria UNSC draft

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Russia has revised an anti-Syria draft resolution forwarded by the United Nations Security Council, removing condemnation of Damascus.

Russia has removed the statement in the previous draft, which calls on the Council to “strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by Syrian authorities.”

Submitting the revised draft to the UNSC on Friday, the Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that his country was concerned about Western plans for Syria.

He said Moscow has its own limits on agreeing with the European and US demands and threatening Damascus with sanctions over the ongoing protests in Syria, while ignoring all reference to violence perpetrated by the opposition groups.

"If the requirement is that we drop all reference to violence coming from extreme opposition, that's not going to happen," Churkin told reporters.

Syria has been experiencing deadly violence since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in favor of the head of state. Damascus says more than 2,000 members of its Army and security forces have been killed in the violence.

Damascus blames foreign-backed armed gangs for the tension. However, the Syrian opposition says the responsibility for the unrest rests squarely with the government.

Churkin rejected the part of the draft, which demands imposition of an arms embargo on Syria.

He accused that such embargo favored by the West is a disproportionate one, in which the siege is enforced against the Syrian government, while the country's opposition are supplied with weapons.

The German ambassador, Peter Wittig, said that the Russian proposals were insufficient, saying that the revised draft resolution did not meet the Western demands. The United States and French envoys also accused Russia of distracting the Security Council from taking action in Syria.

The draft resolution came on the same day, when the Syrian capital suffered from two explosions that killed at least 55 people, mostly civilians, injured more than a hundred people, and caused serious destruction to the buildings and cars in the vicinity.

Churkin also said the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had become the target of 'regime change.'

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