U.N. Gives Syria 15 Days to Comply
There is a new resolution being discussed in the U.N. Security Council that “calls on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy and says additional measures would be taken if he doesn’t comply within 15 days.” The resolution, titled the “Arab-European draft resolution,” is still undergoing negotiations. Although Russia had expressed concern over the language in the draft, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said it would still engage in talks, despite the firm belief that the language is not a basis for consensus yet. The draft currently lays out several points: it “demands that the Syrian government immediately put an end to all human rights violations, and calls on both sides to end attacks and violence immediately;” it expects Assad to step down from power and for fair elections to take place with international supervision; lastly, it calls on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to report on the implementation of the resolution every 15 days. The full text of the draft can be found here.
Meanwhile, the Arab League has suspended its Syria mission amid a surge in violence in recent days. ”Given the critical deterioration of the situation in Syria and the continued use of violence… it has been decided to immediately stop the work of the Arab League’s mission to Syria,” Secretary General Nabil el-Arabi said. Criticism has been mounting against the mission, many saying it is not resolving any issues. Nevertheless, the mission was extended by a month, but Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries pulled their observers, leaving the total count at 110 people still remaining.