Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Russia tables rival Syria resolution

13 February 2014, 10:48

New York - Russia presented a rival UN resolution on the humanitarian crisis in Syria to key Security Council members after saying they would veto a Western and Arab-backed measure threatening sanctions against Syria, a UN diplomat said late on Wednesday.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin gave the text to the four other veto-wielding permanent members of the council — the United States, Britain, France and China — at a meeting, the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

The Russian draft includes some parts of the Western and Arab text, the diplomat said.

Negotiations were expected to see if the drafts can be merged into a compromise text, the diplomat said.

Western diplomats said their goal is to get agreement from all 15 council members on a resolution demanding immediate and unrestricted access to all areas of Syria to deliver aid.

Churkin dismissed the Western and Arab text as a "political".

The Western and Arab text puts most of the blame for the humanitarian crisis on the Syrian government.

It demands that civilians be allowed to leave and calls on Syrian authorities to allow humanitarian access to people in need across conflict lines and across borders from neighbouring countries, particularly Turkey and Iraq.

If the resolution's demands aren't met within 15 days, the draft expresses the Security Council's intention to impose non-military sanctions.

Plight of civilians

Russia and China, which back the Syrian government, have blocked three previous Western-backed resolutions that would have pressured President Bashar Assad to end the now three-year-old civil war.

The divided Security Council did come together in October to approve a presidential statement appealing for immediate access to all areas of Syria to deliver aid. But the supporters want a legally binding resolution.

Russia has come under intense pressure over its opposition, including from President Barack Obama.

Obama said on Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry and others have "delivered a very direct message" pressuring the Russians to drop their opposition.

"It is not just the Syrians that are responsible" for the plight of civilians but "the Russians, as well, if they are blocking this kind of resolution," he said.

The UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said on Wednesday that as violence intensifies in Syria and the situation on the ground becomes more complicated "people are becoming more desperate."

"There are reports and allegations of systematic targeting of communities with specific religious affiliations," she said.

She told a Security Council meeting on protection of civilians that "there are 250 000 people in areas of the country which are besieged."

"They cannot leave and we cannot get aid in," said Amos, who is scheduled to brief the council again Thursday afternoon on Syria.

She said the desperately needed humanitarian pause in a besieged rebel-held area of Homs, Syria's third-largest city, has led to the evacuation of more than 1 000 civilians and the delivery of some food and medicine.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...