Anti-Assad Syrian protesters outside Cairo embassy 390 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said a European-Arab draft
resolution on Syria circulated to the UN Security Council on Friday was
unacceptable in parts, but Russia was ready to "engage" on it.
Churkin spoke to reporters after Morocco presented the council with the
draft, aimed at supporting an Arab League plan for resolving the crisis
in Syria. The United Nations says more than 5,000 people have been
killed in a 10-month crackdown on anti-government protesters.
"We the Russian delegation do not see that draft as a basis on which we
can agree," Churkin said. "However... that does not mean we refuse to
engage with the co-sponsors of that resolution. We will continue to
He made no explicit threat to veto the draft resolution, which French
Ambassador Gerard Araud and British envoy Mark Lyall Grant said they
want to put to a vote next week after a briefing on Syria on Tuesday by
Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby and the Qatari prime
The European-Arab draft resolution would have the council endorse the
Arab League's call for Syrian President Bashar Assad to transfer his
powers to his deputy in order to form a unity government and prepare for
France and Britain crafted the resolution in consultation with Qatar and
Morocco, as well as Germany, Portugal and the United States. It is
intended to replace a Russian draft that Western delegations said is too
weak and irrelevant in light of the new Arab League plan.
Churkin said Russia would continue to promote its own draft resolution while engaging on the European-Arab text.
"We will continue to work with our draft and will discuss with them what
we think is wrong with the (European-Arab) draft and where we can go
together with the Arab League in support of the political process in
Syria," he said.
Russia, he said, is pushing for a Syrian-led political process in Syria,
not "an Arab League-imposed outcome of a political process that has not
yet taken place."
The draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, calls for a "political
transition" in Syria. While not calling for UN sanctions against
Damascus, it does say that the Security Council could "adopt further
measures" if Syria does not comply with the terms of the resolution.
Russia, together with China, vetoed a European-drafted resolution in
October that condemned Syria and threatened it with sanctions.Syrian embassy attacked in Egypt
Earlier Friday, Dozens of Syrians broke into the Syrian embassy in Cairo on
Friday to protest at their government's bloody crackdown on a
10-month-old popular uprising, Egyptian security sources said.
Syrian diplomat said the group had made it into the embassy's courtyard,
destroying parts of the exterior gate to the compound and breaking into
some administrative offices on the first and second floors of the
"The Syrian embassy has video cameras of the protesters
that security forces and guards could not stop or push away from the
embassy," embassy spokesman Emad Arfan said, adding that there were no
A Reuters journalist who entered the embassy saw broken glass and fixtures and telephones pulled off their hooks.
believe that this attack was planned and coordinated from earlier,"
Arfan said, adding that the embassy would resume business as usual on
Arfan called on Egyptian security services to tighten security around the embassy.
forces killed another 37 people in Syria on Friday, activists and
residents said, as people in Homs mourned 14 members of a family they
said were slain by militiamen in one of the worst sectarian attacks
during the revolt against President Bashar Assad.