UK and France to put forward U.N. resolution on Syria

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 08, 2011 9:48 AM
UK and France to put forward U.N. resolution on Syria

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and France will put forward a U.N. Security Council resolution on Wednesday condemning Syria's crackdown on protesters, British Prime Minister David Cameron said.

"Today in New York, Britain and France will be tabling a resolution at the Security Council condemning the repression and demanding accountability and humanitarian access.

"And if anyone votes against that resolution or tries to veto it, that should be on their conscience," Cameron told parliament.

Britain, France, Germany and Portugal circulated a draft resolution condemning Syria at the U.N. Security Council last month, but diplomats say Britain has been working on a "strengthened" version. Veto powers Russia and China have made clear they dislike the idea of council involvement.

The draft circulated last month does not propose military intervention.

Britain and France have toughened their language on Syria after 12 weeks of anti-government protests. Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was losing legitimacy and should reform or quit.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe was in New York this week leading a drive for the United Nations to take a stand on Syria. He said he believed a resolution could attract at least 11 of the 15 Security Council votes and the vote could happen very quickly."

Cameron said there were "credible reports of 1,000 dead and as many as 10,000 detained."

"The violence being meted out to peaceful protesters and demonstrators is completely unacceptable," he said.

In Paris, a French diplomatic source said the resolution aims to get the necessary nine votes and not be vetoed by Russia or China.

"We will only be effective if we have enough partners backing us," he said.

"What we are asking for is a definitive end to the repression. If Assad continues, he has no future. But it is not too late for him to commit to the reforms he has promised," the French diplomatic source said.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft and Catherine Bremer; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)