News / Middle East

Diplomats: Progress on Syria Resolution at UN

Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby during a UN Security Council meeting about Syria, Jan. 31, 2012.
Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby during a UN Security Council meeting about Syria, Jan. 31, 2012.
Margaret Besheer

U.N. Security Council diplomats on Wednesday sounded cautiously optimistic for the first time that they might reach agreement on a resolution supporting an Arab League plan to end the violence in Syria.  But they acknowledged that key differences remain, as they left the negotiations.

The Security Council is considering a resolution sponsored by Morocco and supported by several Arab and Western countries that would endorse a proposal from the Arab League to try to end the nearly year-long political crisis in Syria in which more than 5,400 people have died.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of Qatar and the Arab League chief appealed to the council for their support.  Russia, a close ally of Syria, has been the main obstacle to winning the endorsement of the 15-member council.

Security Council ambassadors met Wednesday afternoon to negotiate several critical sticking points, including how the resolution would acknowledge the Arab League plan, which calls for a political transition with President Bashar al-Assad transferring power to a deputy.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant expressed the Western position, calling for full support for the plan. “For us, the most fundamental part of this text has always been supporting the Arab League initiative and that is our bedrock bottom line, and that is what the purpose of the text is and we will insist it is in the final version," he said.

But Russia, as well as some other Security Council members, would likely not go along with such an explicit endorsement of what they consider regime change.

Diplomats said other contentious issues include the idea of military intervention and any reference to the flow of arms to the Syrian government or the protesters.

Russia’s ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, struck a positive tone when he told reporters that there was progress during the negotiations and that he thinks council members have a much better understanding of “what needs to be done" for the council to "reach consensus.”

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice was more cautious. “It is way too soon in my judgment to know whether ultimately there will be agreement.  But I think people are in the spirit of rolling up their sleeves and getting to work in a serious manner," she said.

Britain’s ambassador said there was progress and a clear desire to try to draft a text that can be adopted by the end of this week.  He said talks will continue on Thursday.

During Tuesday’s ministerial-level Security Council meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told council members that they face a historic choice between supporting the Syrian people or becoming complicit in the continuing violence.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid