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Security Council to meet on "new Syria draft" on Thursday afternoon

(Xinhua)

08:44, February 03, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Kodjo Menan, Togolese UN ambassador who holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for Feb. this year, said on Thursday the 15-nation UN body will meet again on Thursday afternoon to discuss what he called "a new draft resolution" on Syria as the council members are trying to bridge their gap on how to deal with the current situation in the Middle East country.

Menan, at a press conference to brief the press here on the council's work program for this month, said, "We are going to be talking about a new draft this afternoon. I think a lot has been done by the co-sponsors of the draft resolution."

"We'll see this afternoon what direction the council is going to take over the discussion of this topic," he said.

Togo assumed the council presidency on Wednesday, the first time for the West African country to take the helm of the council since it was elected last year as a non-permanent member of the most powerful UN body.

The new draft resolution resulted from the revision of an Arab- European draft, tabled by Morocco on Friday last week, in the negotiations among 15 council members while Russia, a veto- wielding council member, vowed it will veto any proposal " unacceptable" to Moscow.

In October, Russia, together with China which is one of the five permanent council members, vetoed an European draft resolution on Syria.

The draft resolution, jointly drew up by Arab states and Britain, France and Germany, demanded Syrian President Basahr al- Assad to surrender his power to his deputy in order to pay the way for the new national unity government and elections in the Middle East country, which has been plunged into a political crisis since March last year.

Russia has warned some countries against meddling in the internal affairs of Syria in order to avoid a replay of the Libya model, in which foreign military interventions helped oust strongman Muammar Qaddafi.

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