Envoys: Russia may not veto UN council draft on Syria

By REUTERS
February 3, 2012 16:39

UNITED NATIONS - Moscow may agree not to veto the latest version of a European-Arab draft resolution endorsing an Arab League plan for Syrian President Bashar Assad to give up power when the UN Security Council votes on it, envoys said on Friday.

"I think Moscow will be OK with it," a council diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "We're not 100 percent sure but I think they've gotten the assurances they wanted."

Morocco circulated an amended draft resolution to the 15-nation council on Thursday after Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told a closed-door session of the 15-nation body Moscow would veto the draft if it were put to a vote on Friday with a phrase saying the council "fully supports" an Arab League plan calling for Syria's president to step aside, diplomats said.

That phrase remains in the text. But several diplomats said Churkin's threat of a veto had more to do with the timing than the substance of the resolution and predicted that the Russians likely would abstain or vote for the resolution.


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