France rejects Russia's Syria resolution

Text of Russian surprise draft resolution on Syrian violence is still too weak; deserters kill 27 Syrian soldiers.

United Nations Security Council 311 (R) (photo credit: ERIC THAYER / Reuters)
United Nations Security Council 311 (R)
(photo credit: ERIC THAYER / Reuters)
PARIS - Russia's draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria is unacceptable to France, but Moscow's recognition that the body must react to the bloodshed is a positive step, France's Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Russia unexpectedly presented a new, beefed-up draft resolution on the violence in Syria to the security council on Thursday. Western envoys said the text was too weak even though it expanded and toughened previous Russian drafts.
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Both Russia and China vetoed a West European draft resolution in October that contained a threat of sanctions.
"For France, it is a positive development that Russia has decided to recognize that the serious deterioration of the situation in Syria merits a Security Council resolution," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told a regular news briefing.
Describing the blockage in the security council as scandalous, Valero said that a UN resolution should be quickly adopted condemning crimes against humanity in Syria and supporting a credible, political solution.
"It (France) is ready to work with all of its partners but it underlines that the Russian text has elements that are not acceptable in their current form," Valero said.
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"It's in particular unacceptable to put the Syrian regime's repression on the same level as the Syrian people's resistance," he added.
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday Russia did not believe both sides in Syria were equally responsible for the bloodshed and noted that the new draft called on both sides to halt the violence.