Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Syria resolution may lead to 'civil war'

The UN Security Council Chamber (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov says a Western-backed UN Security Council resolution on Syria will pave the way for a “civil war” in the Arab country.

Gatilov told Russian media on Tuesday that a draft resolution on Syria “will not help in the search for a compromise” if it is approved.

“Pushing it through is the path towards civil war,” Gatilov added.

On January 27, the UN Security Council met to consider the draft, which was presented to the UN body by Morocco and supports an Arab League plan that calls on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign and hand over power to a deputy to form a national unity government “with the opposition within two months.”

The United States, the United Kingdom and France have supported the new Arab League plan.

Gatilov had earlier said Moscow would “not support any measure which orders Assad to leave office.”

Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi said in a statement issued on January 28 that the organization had decided to “immediately stop the work of the Arab League's mission to Syria” due to “the critical deterioration of the situation” in the country.

The observer mission had been in Syria since December 26, 2011 and was tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Arab League resolution to end the unrest in the country.

The Syrian government said on Saturday Damascus “regrets the decision taken by Arabi to suspend the observer mission” and that the decision called for “foreign intervention” and encouraged “armed groups to increase violence.”

This is not the first time Russia opposes measures against the Syrian government.

On January 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was strongly against the imposition of any sanctions against Damascus or the deployment of foreign troops in Syria.

Lavrov made the remarks after the European Union planned new sanctions against Syria on the same day.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in favor of President Assad.

Damascus says “outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” are responsible for the unrest, which it says is being orchestrated from abroad.

On January 11, Assad joined thousands of government supporters in the capital Damascus and said Syria will “undoubtedly triumph over foreign conspiracies.”

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