UK's Hague says UN discussions could take days

AP News
Posted: Aug 28, 2013 12:01 PM

LONDON (AP) — The world will still have a responsibility to stop the bloodshed in Syria even if there is no agreement at the U.N. over Britain's proposal for a U.N. Security Council resolution to condemn the Syrian government, Britain's foreign secretary said Wednesday.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said U.N. discussions over the Syrian crisis will continue "over the coming days."

Britain said it would seek U.N. Security Council backing Wednesday for a measure condemning Syria for an alleged chemical attack against its civilians and authorizing "appropriate measures" in response. The resolution could be used to authorize military force against Syria.

Hague admitted, however, that permanent Security Council members Russia and China are unlikely to back Britain's resolution.

"It is time the United Nations Security Council shoulders its responsibility on Syria, which for the last two and a half years it has failed to do," he said.

After Prime Minister David Cameron held a meeting Wednesday on Syria, he said the military and security chiefs at Britain's National Security Council "unanimously" backed his call for action. The council includes Cabinet ministers, defense chiefs and heads of intelligence agencies.

Cameron's office said the group agreed that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime was responsible for the lethal chemical attack last week outside Damascus, which Doctors Without Borders says killed 355 people.

The council also backs the government's plan for the U.N. Security Council resolution to condemn Syria and open the door for a possible military attack designed to prevent future chemical attacks.