Pressure Amounts on Russia at the U.N.
On Tuesday, world leaders met at the U.N. Security Council to discuss a draft resolution proposed by Morocco calling for President Bashar Al-Assad to relinquish power beginning the transition to a democracy representative of the Syrian people. Western leaders arrived intent on convincing veto-yielding Russia, who opposes the current draft revolution, of approving an Arab led initiative which aims for the formation of a unity government followed by elections.
In her remarks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized that “there is no intention to seek any authority or to pursue any kind of military intervention” in Syria stressing her support of the Arab League initiative. Clinton referred to Libya comparisons as a “false analogies” and stated that Syria “is a unique situation that requires its own approach, tailored to the specific circumstances on the ground.” Clinton emphasized the importance of the Security Council standing behind the Syrian people citing the recent increase in violence. She pressured the members of the council saying, “We all have a choice: Stand with the people of Syria and the region or become complicit in the continuing violence there.”
Russia voiced concerns about the international community interfering in Syrian domestic affairs. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the idea that “the world organization can interfere in the domestic politics of any country to force a leadership change” saying the Council “cannot dictate what king needs to resign or what prime minister needs to step down. Professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and a long-time adviser to the United Nations George Lopez stated that Russia’s position is stems from larger concerns that the Councils decision may set a precedent that could affect on their own sovereignty. “If today it is Assad, tomorrow Putin? They worry,” said Lopez.