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Unbalanced UN resolution may complicate situation in Syria

By Gu Zhenqiu (Xinhua)

15:26, May 16, 2013

UNITED NATIONS, May 15 (Xinhua) -- A new resolution adopted Wednesday by the UN General Assembly may not help create favorable conditions for a political settlement of the Syria crisis.

The resolution condemned the Syrian government, but backed the role of a Syrian opposition coalition in transition talks.

"The fact that the text lacks an explicit call for no further militarization of the conflict is unjustifiable," Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Brazilian permanent representative to the UN, told the 193-member General Assembly.

It weakened the faith in the resolve of the international community to end the conflict through diplomatic means, she said.

Although Brazil, China and Russia have all voiced their concerns at part of the text during negotiations on the draft resolution, the sponsor countries forcibly pushed forward the vote at the General Assembly.

"Forcibly pushing forward the vote is not conducive to the unity of the member states and the mediation efforts by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon," Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, told the General Assembly before the vote.

The new resolution, which is not legally binding, received 107 votes in favor, 12 against and 59 abstentions, a drop in support in comparison with a resolution passed in August last year with 133 votes in favor, 12 against and 31 abstentions.

China and Russia were among the 12 countries to vote against the draft resolution, while 59 nations, including Brazil, South Africa and India, abstained.

Alexander Pankin, Russia's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said that the resolution was "very harmful and destructive," claiming it is aimed at a "regime change" in Syria.

Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's permanent representative to the United Nations, said that "the draft resolution seeks to escalate the crisis and fuel violence in Syria" through attempting to recognize the opposition Syrian National Coalition and legitimize the provision of weapons to them.

Given the grave reality of armed conflict in Syria, it is high time to create improved conditions for all the relevant parties to stop violence and start negotiations at an early date.

It is incumbent for the international community to make collective efforts to bring about positive atmosphere for planned peace talks in Geneva, which is likely to provide an updated roadmap for a Syrian-led political transition.

The UN General Assembly resolution was passed on the day when Ban left for Moscow in a bid to bring all warring parties in Syria to a proposed international conference in Geneva.

The international conference on Syria was part of an agreement between Russia and the United States. The two countries made a deal to sponsor another conference in Geneva by the end of May to bring together the Syrian government and the opposition to make a fresh bid for peace in the Middle East country, which has been plagued by a political crisis since March 2011.

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