France hopeful of U.N. compromise on Syria

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 01, 2012 1:35 PM
France hopeful of U.N. compromise on Syria

PARIS (Reuters) - France hopes U.N. Security Council members can produce a compromise resolution on Syria by next week, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Wednesday.

France is pushing hard for adoption of a U.N. resolution condemning the Syrian government's crackdown on 11 months of protests and backing an Arab League peace plan.

Russia has threatened to use its veto and Moscow's envoy to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, says there is no chance the Western-Arab draft text could be accepted unless it explicitly rejects armed intervention.

Juppe said Western powers had ruled out military intervention. "We're trying to bring positions closer together and we hope that during the course of next week it will be possible to have a Security Council text that could ... avoid the veto," he said during a talk at a Paris university.

"We are trying to create movement. The exchanges (at U.N. headquarters in New York) yesterday gave us some grounds for positive thinking. The Russian representative did not say 'niet' (no)," Juppe said.

"For us there is no question of intervention ... and that's what we are trying to get our Russian friends to see," he said.

(Reporting By John Irish; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Janet Lawrence)