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Vote on draft resolution on Syria postponed till Friday – sources

August 02, 2012, 3:35 UTC+3
The draft resolution was made up by the Saudi Arabian delegation jointly with several Western states
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

UNITED NATIONS ORGANISATION, August 2 (Itar-Tass) — The vote on a draft resolution on the conflict in Syria in the U.N. General Assembly can be postponed till Friday, diplomatic sources close to the U.N. headquarters said on Thursday.

The draft resolution is planned to be put to the vote at 6 p.m. on Thursday. However, the work on the draft resolution presented by Saudi Arabia and several Western countries continues. On Wednesday evening, a drafted document, which underwent considerable changes, was circulated among member-countries of the international organisation.

The draft resolution was made up by the Saudi Arabian delegation jointly with several Western states. The text urges the U.N. member-countries to impose sanctions as the League of Arab States imposed on Syria on November 27, 2011. These sanctions envisages freezing foreign holdings of the Syrian elite in Arab banks, suspending commercial relations in Damascus and banks of the country, as well as terminating joint projects and air service. In addition, the document lauds other steps by Arab countries, in particular the resolution of July 22 that calls on al-Assad to step aside in order to ensure conditions for handing power over by peaceful means.

Despite the fact that the draft resolution provides support for the Kofi Plan and calls on other participants in the Syrian conflict to cease violence by creating conditions for the transition period. The Annan Plan calls for withdrawing troops from settlements by condemning systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities.

BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) disagree with this position.

“We believe that the General Assembly should not approve the resolution, which repeats the LAS position on backing the resignation of al-Assad,” a South African diplomat told Itar-Tass on Tuesday, July 31.

A source in the Belarusian delegation also intends to vote against the text of the resolution.

Many observers agree that the Saudi Arabian draft resolution will repeat formulations containing in other document, which was submitted to the U.N. Security Council on July 19 by Britain and vetoed by Russia and China. Moscow and Beijing exercised veto threefold to prevent the U.N. Security Council from approving unilateral documents on Syria.

Unlike the U.N. Security Council, the General Assembly resolution is voted by the majority of votes and cannot be blocked. However, the General Assembly resolutions do not envision sanctions or the use of force only by being restricted to recommendations.

The adoption of the resolution can has a certain impact on the work of the Security Council. The fact is that from August 1 France will turn into neutral Colombia. Its permanent representative Gerard Araud said on Wednesday that the Syrian issue would be the key problem in the agenda.

“We try to convince our Russian and Chinese friends that there are no dissembled intentions,” Araud said, adding that the sitting-on-the-fence policy was fraught with further radicalisation of the opposition.

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