Russia blames West of inciting Syrian rebels
- Category: Uncensored News
- Published on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 16:48
UN postpones vote on a Western-backed resolution that threatens Syrian authorities with sanctions after suicide bombing.
The United Nations Security Council has postponed until Thursday a vote on a Western-backed resolution that threatens Syrian authorities with sanctions in a bid to end the 16-month conflict, Russia's U.N. envoy said on Wednesday.
"A possible vote has been postponed until tomorrow morning," Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters after a meeting of the envoys of the council's five permanent members, adding that further talks on the measure would be held on Wednesday.
International envoy Kofi Annan had requested the delay amid differences between Moscow and the resolutions's Western sponsors over whether Damascus should be threatened with sanctions.
Russia has vowed to veto the resolution drawn up by Britain, with the backing of France, United States, Germany and Portugal. The resolution proposes non-military sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter if President Bashar al-Assad does not halt the use of heavy weapons within 10 days of a resolution being passed.
Russia accused the West of inciting the Syrian opposition after the defence minister and Assad's brother-in-law were killed in a bomb attack, arguing that a proposed UN resolution amounted to support for the rebels and would lead to more bloodshed.
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"Instead of calming the opposition down, some of our partners are inciting it to go on," Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday.
Supporting the Syrian opposition "is a dead-end policy, because Assad is not leaving voluntarily," he said.
Despite the probable delay in the vote there was no sign that Russia has withdrawn its veto threat. "We cannot accept Chapter VII and the section about sanctions," Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said in Moscow on Wednesday.
'Need to act'
Foreign ministers from the five permanent Security Council members - Russia, United States, France, Britain and China - were negotiating the future of the resolution, diplomats said.
UN ambassadors from the five countries held talks at the Council on when the vote would go ahead.
The mandate of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) ends on Friday and without a resolution the UN may have to hurriedly withdraw the nearly 300 unarmed observers now in Damascus.
The Western countries will "seriously consider" Annan's request, said Peter Wittig, UN envoy for Germany which is currently a non-permanent member of the council.