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

Video 2nd American Reportedly Killed in Syria

Minnesota television report says Abdirahman Muhumed left area to fight for Islamic State militants More

WHO Fears Ebola Outbreak Could Infect 20,000 People

World Health Organization says outbreak 'continues to accelerate' but that most cases are concentrated in a few local areas More

Angelina Jolie Marries Brad Pitt

Actors wed in small private ceremony Saturday in France 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid