UK, France to counter Russia with draft Syria resolution

July 11, 2012 19:39

UNITED NATIONS - Britain and France are prepared to counter Russia with their own draft resolution on the UN monitoring mission in Syria after the UN Security Council is briefed by international envoy Kofi Annan on Wednesday, diplomats said.

The deeply divided 15-member council must decide the future of the mission, known as UNSMIS, before July 20 when its initial 90-day mandate expires. It approved 300 unarmed military observers to monitor an April 12 ceasefire - that has failed to take hold - as part of Annan's plan to broker peace in Syria.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has recommended a shift in the emphasis of UNSMIS' work from military observers - who suspended most of their monitoring activities on June 16 because of increased risk amid rising violence - to the roughly 100 civilian staff focusing on a political solution and issues like human rights.

"We have a number of drafts ready but we will consider exactly which text to circulate in the light of Mr Annan's briefing," said Britain's UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant.

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