Diplomat: Russia threatens to veto UN Syria draft

February 3, 2012 01:00


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UNITED NATIONS - Russia told the UN Security Council on Thursday it would veto a disputed draft resolution backing an Arab League plan to end the violence in Syria if it were put to a vote as early as Friday, a Western diplomat said.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was addressing a closed-door meeting of the council that some envoys said was close to agreement on the draft, said the diplomat, speaking on condition he was not identified.

The most controversial section of the text is a phrase saying the council "fully supports" the Arab plan, which among other things calls for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step aside. Moscow says that amounts to "regime change."

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