With Russian Support, U.N. Security Council Adopts Watered-Down Statement on Syria
Follow @azmatzahraMarch 21, 2012, 12:42 pm ET
After months of diplomatic stalemate resulting from the objections of Russia and China, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a statement on the crisis in Syria today.
The nonbinding statement calls on the Syrian government and the opposition to immediately implement a six-point proposal by Kofi Annan, the recently-appointed U.N. and Arab League envoy to Syria.
The proposals in Annan’s plan require the Syrian government to:
The U.N.’s statement does not call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, and notes that Annan will also seek “similar commitments” from the opposition to stop the fighting.
An earlier draft had included a seven-day timetable to review implementation and consider “further measures” if progress was insufficient — including sanctions or military action — but that threat was dropped, according to the Associated Press.
Instead, the statement requests that Annan “update the Council regularly and in a timely manner on the progress of his mission.” Based on those reports, it will “consider further steps as appropriate.”
Meanwhile, Syrian security forces “relentlessly pounded” the neighborhood of Khaldiya in Homs yesterday and today, killing 25 civilians, according to activists there. The area had become a refuge for those who fled or were displaced from other besieged districts in the city.
The U.N. estimates that more than 8,000 Syrians have been killed since the uprising broke out a year ago.
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, meets with Kofi Annan, the United Nations special envoy to Syria, in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday March 10, 2012. (AP Photo/SANA)
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