UN Security Council to discuss draft statement on Syria

UN Security Council to discuss draft statement on Syria
# 03 April 2012 20:47 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. France said here on Tuesday that a daft presidential statement on Syria is being circulated among the 15 UN Security Council members, and that hopefully it will be adopted here on Wednesday night or Thursday morning, APA reports Xinhua.

French UN Ambassador Gerard Araud made the statement as he was speaking to reporters here after the Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the current situation in Mali, where the military seized power in a coup on March 22.

A draft presidential statement on Syria is being circulated in the Council, and a discussion of it by experts from the Council members is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the UN Headquarters in New York, Araud said.

A presidential statement, adopted by consensus, is not legally binding, and it carries no weight of a Security Council resolution, which requires nine votes in favor and no vetoes from any of the five permanent Council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Negotiations will be conducted on the draft presidential statement on Wednesday, Araud said, adding that it is his hope that the draft will be adopted on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

On Monday, Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Arab League joint special envoy for Syria, underlined the urgency in the Syrian situation and sought the support of the UN Security Council for an April 10 deadline to end the year-long violence in the Middle East country.

Bashar Ja’afari, the Syrian permanent representative to the United Nations, on Monday confirmed his government’s acceptance of the deadline to end the crisis, but asked Annan to get the same commitment from the Syrian opposition.

On March 21, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement to endorse Annan’s peace plan and called upon both the Syrian government and opposition to "work in good faith with" Annan "towards a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis" and to "implement fully and immediately his initial six-point proposal."

Annan’s six-point plan calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, as well as talks between the government and the opposition.

The United Nations said that about 9,000 people have been killed since the crisis broke out in Syria in March last year.