Conflict & Justice

UN could vote on new Syria resolution next week


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad waves at supporters during a rare public appearance in Damascus on January 11, 2012 in which he vowed to defeat a 'conspiracy' against Syria, a day after he blamed foreign interests for stoking months of deadly violence.



As Arab League monitors withdrew from Syria, France and Britain joined the United Nations' efforts to end President Bashar al-Assad's rule, Reuters reported.

France and Britain are working with Qatar and other Arab delegations on a new United Nations draft resolution supporting the Arab League plan's to remove Assad from power. The UN Security Council could vote on it as early as next week, according to Reuters.

"The UN Security Council must support the Arab League's courageous decisions which are trying to end the repression and violence in Syria and find a solution to the political crisis," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said. "Our aim is to get a resolution approved."

In his State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama said Assad would "soon discover that the forces of change can't be reversed."

One major obstacle could be Russia, which holds a veto in the Security Council. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday Moscow remains opposed to military intervention and sanctions in Syria, according to Voice of America.

More from GlobalPost: Gulf Cooperation Council pulls members out of Arab League Syria mission

The Gulf Cooperation Council, which comprises the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, pulled out of the Arab League's observer mission in Syria. More than 50 observers from Gulf Arab states left Syria on Wednesday.

More from GlobalPost: Syria rejects Arab League plan for Assad to step down

Meanwhile, state news agency SANA reported the head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in the northern town of Idlib was shot dead on Wednesday.

The agency also said a priest and three law enforcement agents were killed by "terrorists" in Hama.

More from GlobalPost: Is NATO going to intervene in Syria?