UN Security Council members have agreed to the text of a resolution on Syria. Reports say the new draft does not include provisions which Russia vocally opposed, namely an arms embargo and the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad.
“We have the text, which we will send to our capitals – and then we will wait for the result,” Churkin said after a four-hour closed session at the UN on Thursday. He added that the agreement on the resolution “does not at all predetermine its fate.”
A new version of the resolution has been put in its final form and prepared for a vote, Churkin said.
Diplomats have reportedly agreed to drop demands for an arms embargo against Syria and the resignation of President Assad.
However, the draft still “fully supports” the Arab League’s decision to “facilitate a political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system,” the Associated Press reports.
The Security Council could soon reach a consensus on issue, current council president Kodjo Menan of Togo said on Thursday. Security Council members want “swift action,” Menan said, but added that there is no deadline for such a decision.
The news follows days of heated political debates in the UNSC, with many members supporting a Western-backed draft calling for foreign nations to put an end to what some called the “Syrian killing machine.”
Russia and China were the only permanent Security Council members opposing the draft, reminding others that it was not their place to intervene in the domestic affairs of another country.
Russia’s permanent envoy to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin earlier said any proposals including an arms embargo or a demand for Assad’s resignation would be vetoed.
Diplomatic insiders say there had been two draft resolutions on the table in the UNSC. A version put forth by Morocco, the only Arab state on the Security Council, was opposed by Russia and China over provisions for foreign intervention in what both Moscow and Beijing call a ‘domestic’ affair. The two states had previously vetoed a similar resolution, fearing its passage would cause a repeat of the Libyan scenario with another NATO military incursion.
In turn, some UNSC members said Russia’s draft proposal was far too soft to have any effect on the conflict in Syria. To these claims, Churkin stressed the hope for a consensus on the matter, but noted that it was still too early to talk about a vote.
It is not in America’s plans to push for a resolution demanding foreign intervention in Syria, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland announced on Thursday. She added that America wants a peaceful solution to the conflict in the country, saying that the situation in Syria is different from that of Libya. Nuland stressed, however, that the US is calling on other countries to back the toughest possible resolution on Syria.
Michel Chossudovsky, the Director at the Center for Research on Globalization, believes that instead of revising the current draft resolution, the Security Council should scrap it and work out a new one, based on the results of the Arab League’s report.
“I think that resolution should be scrapped,” he told RT. “What they should do is throw out that draft resolution and have another one which actually focuses on the foreign forces – including Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia – which are supporting an insurgency in a sovereign country namely Syria.”
Chossudovsky believes that the Security Council paid too little attention to the Arab League observer mission’s“extremely explicit” report, which should be taken very seriously.
“The report should be made public,” he said. “This observer mission is made up of people who are not necessarily politically inclined. They are independent observers and they are saying the truth.”
Michel Chossudovsky and Marina Portnaya