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THE UNITED NATIONS, February 3 (Itar-Tass) —— UN Security Council members agreed on the text of the resolution on Syria on Thursday and sent it to their capitals for approval. The draft resolution, which the Moroccan delegation submitted during the UN Security Council meeting last week, included several key concerns of Russia, China and several other council members, which refused to support the demand of the League of Arab States (LAS) for Bashar al-Assad to pass his presidential powers to the Syrian vice-president. The final reading of the draft resolution, which was co-authored by France, Britain, Germany, Portugal, the United States, Colombia and Togo, removed the clauses, which concretize the LAS peace initiative.
The seventh paragraph of the operative part of the resolution was formulated in a different way after heated debates in the UN Security Council. The authors of the draft resolution urged all countries to launch an open political process headed by the Syrians in the atmosphere free of violence, fear, intimidation and extremism. In this respect, they support fully the LAS decision taken on January 22, 2012 to contribute to the political transition to a democratic, pluralistic political dialogue between the Syrian government and the entire scope of Syrian opposition forces under the LAS aegis according to the schedule set by the LAS.
The previous variant of the draft resolution looked more like an ultimatum, which demanded the formation of a government of national unity, the delegation of all Syrian presidential powers to the vice-president so that the latter could cooperate with the government of national unity in order to vest him with the powers to fulfil his obligations in the transition period, as well as transparent, free elections under Arab and international control.
Russia’s and China’s categorical unacceptance of any attempts to exert an economic pressure on Damascus made the authors of the resolution remove the paragraph, which contained an appeal to the UN states to take measures similar to the sanctions imposed by the LAS against Syrian authorities on November 27, 2011.
Meanwhile, the draft resolution still contains some veiled threat of sanctions, if the Syrian government fails to fulfil the demands of the resolution within 21 days. In this case the UN Security Council may consider some additional measures.
The draft resolution demands from the Syrian government to stop any violence used against the Syrian population, release of all people, who were detained arbitrarily over the recent incidents, withdrawal of all Syrian troops and armed forces from the cities and settlements and bring them back in the barracks, guarantee the freedom of peaceful demonstrations, allowance of full and free access and movement of all relevant LAS institutes and Arab and international media to all parts of Syria in order to find the truth about the situation there and monitor ongoing incidents, and permit the full and free access for the LAS observer mission.