Syrian FM heads to New York for UN meeting

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa headed to New York Sunday to attend a UN Security Council meeting expected to adopt a tough resolution that could threatens sanctions if Syria doesn't cooperate with a probe into the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister. The United States, France and Britain are promoting the resolution expected to be put to a vote at a Monday ministerial meeting of the Security Council. Russia and Algeria oppose its threat of sanctions. The draft resolution strongly backs a report by the UN investigating commission which implicated top Syrian and Lebanese security officials in the Feb. 14 bomb death of former Premier Rafik Hariri and accused Syria of not cooperating fully with the probe. The resolution would require Syria to detain anyone the UN investigators consider a suspect, and allow the investigators to determine the location and conditions under which the individual would be questioned. It would freeze assets and impose a travel ban on anyone identified as a suspect by the commission. The Syrian official news agency, SANA, said al-Sharaa would meet in New York with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as well as a number of foreign ministers of the UN Security Council's member states. He is accompanied by Foreign Ministry adviser Riyad Dawoodi.