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Russia not against UN resolution on Syria -- FM

October 08, 2011, 20:02 UTC+3
Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov s recalled that Russia and China have drafted their own version of the U.N. Security Council resolution
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RHODES, Greece, October 8 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia is not against a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria and does not rule out that work on its new draft will continue in order to harmonise Russian and Western proposals, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said.

“In principle, we are not against a resolution,” he said at the Dialogue of Civilisations at Rhodes on Saturday, October 8. He recalled that Russia and China have drafted their own version of the U.N. Security Council resolution.

But “the authors of the Western version hurried and put their draft to a vote. We had to exercise our right to veto together with our Chinese partners,” Bogdanov said.

“It would be wrong to say that we and our partners, in this case China, are against the U.N. Security Council’s reaction to events in Syria, especially since our Chinese partners and we had drafted a resolution that was basically sitting on the table together with the Western draft, and there was a choice,” the diplomat said.

Several other countries disagreed with the Western draft, he noted. “Work continues and we place the emphasis on both contacts with the Syrian authorities and with representatives of the opposition,” Bogdanov said.

“Work continued till the very last moment” and “I think it can go on in order to harmonise the proposals put forth by our Western partners and in our own draft,” he said.

The voting on the draft resolution took place on October 4. In addition to its authors – France, Germany, Portugal, and Britain – five more countries – the United States, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Gabon, Nigeria, and Colombia -- voted for it. Brazil, India, South Africa, and Lebanon abstained.

For the resolution to be passed, it needs the support of at least 9 out of 15 Security Council members, provided that none of the permanent members exercises its right to veto.

The draft resolution condemned serious and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities and although it did not contain direct reference to sanctions, it said the U.N. Security Council was determined to review Syria’s compliance with the document within 30 days and consider targeted measures against it, if it fails to do so.

Russia continues to object to possible U.N. sanctions against Syria, a source in the presidential press service said earlier.

The Kremlin stressed that Russia’s position has not changed. “We urge the Syrian leadership to consistently carry out the reforms it has declared,” the source said.

“We remain critical about possible sanctions against Syria,” he said, adding that the United States and the European Union have already imposed sanctions against that country.

“The main question is to implement consistently the reforms [President Bashar] by al-Asad, stop violence and prevent casualties,” the source said.


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