Venezuela Delays UN Resolution on Syria

August 13, 2015  

A UN Security Council approval of a draft statement on Syria has been delayed because of objections from Venezuela, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Wednesday.

The resolution strongly backs intensive preparatory talks on key issues to restore peace to the conflict-torn country.

Council diplomats had hoped to adopt the presidential statement Wednesday afternoon. But Venezuela asked for changes to some language about a political transition and discussions were continuing, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Expect it to be adopted tomorrow,” Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters as he left the council Wednesday afternoon, according to AP.

Churkin said last Friday there was “a high possibility” the deeply divided council would endorse UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura’s recently announced plan aimed at setting the stage for new peace talks to end the Syrian war.

The draft council statement demands that all parties in Syria “work urgently” toward fully implementing the roadmap to peace adopted by key nations in Geneva in June 2012. It calls for the formation of a transitional government with full executive powers “on the basis of mutual consent” and ends with elections.

The roadmap would require Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, whose government is backed by Russia, to relinquish power. Assad, however, has shown no sign of stepping down and his government has called a transitional government unconstitutional while the opposition and Western powers insist his departure is essential, noted AP.

The draft statement, obtained by AP, supports de Mistura’s plans to hold simultaneous discussions among the Syrian parties on key aspects of the Geneva roadmap and urges all parties “to engage in good faith” with him.

Last week, the Security Council was successful in adopting another resolution related to Syria, this one regarding alleged chlorine gas attacks.

The resolution, which was agreed upon by the United States and Russia, will set up a panel to identify who is behind deadly chlorine gas attacks in Syria, which the West blames on the Damascus regime.

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