News / Middle East

France to Push for UN Vote to Condemn Syrian Violence

France says it will push for a vote in the U.N. Security Council on a resolution condemning a government crackdown on protesters in Syria. Foreign Minister Alain Juppé says a vote could come soon.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Security Council meeting on HIV/AIDS, Juppé said the situation in Syria is escalating and the council must take action.

“The repression is getting worse; the massacres are on the rise.  It is inconceivable that the U.N. remains silent on such a matter.  We are working with our U.K. friends to have as large a majority as possible on the Security Council.  I think we have to move to a vote so that everyone can assume their responsibilities,” Juppe said.

France and its European colleagues on the council circulated a draft resolution in late May expressing grave concern and condemning the violence against civilians.  The resolution called for restraint and the release of all people detained during the protests that began in mid-March.

Juppé said France is forging a majority slowly and would “soon” set a date for a vote.  Asked how soon, he replied:

“I answered this question before, I told you we are waiting for as large as possible majority in the Security Council and I think it is a question of days, maybe hours,” Juppe said.

Diplomats say they believe they have the required nine votes for the measure to pass, but are not certain whether Russia or China would veto the decision.

Although the resolution is largely symbolic, in that it has no sanctions and authorizes no military intervention, diplomats say there is apprehension among some countries to sign on to it following two resolutions in the council on Libya that ultimately led to military intervention.

On his way into the Council, Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong told reporters his country is concerned about the situation in Syria. “But we do not think the involvement of the Security Council will help the situation there,” Li said.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the situation demonstrates the need for the Security Council to take a stand.

“Obviously events over the weekend and yesterday are very serious, and in our view the Security Council should take cognizance of that.  We are looking at our text to adapt it, obviously, to recent events on the ground.  And we will be seeing whether there is any shift in those few countries who are so far still opposing action in the Security Council.  And if, as I hope, there is some sign of movement, we will be putting it to a vote quickly,” Grant said.

Rights groups say at least 1,100 people have been killed in the government's crackdown against the anti-government campaign that began in mid-March.  More than 10,000 have been arrested.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid