MOSCOW - Russia on Monday sought to avert a swift UN Security Council vote on a Western-Arab resolution on Syria and said it wanted to study recommendations from Arab observers before discussing a plan that calls for Syrian President Bashar Assad to cede power.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov spoke a day before Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby was to brief Security Council members to seek support for the Arab League plan to end 10 months of bloodshed in which more than 5,000 people have been killed.
Western powers Britain and France want the Security Council to vote next week on a draft resolution supporting the Arab League plan's call for Assad to step down. Elaraby has said he hopes to overcome resistance from Beijing and Moscow.
But Gatilov said recommendations from Arab monitors in Syria, led by Sudanese General Mohammed al-Dabi, should be presented to council members including Russia, which he said had not been informed of the mission's findings.