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New UN resolution unlikely to change Russia and China’s minds on Syria

Published time: February 11, 2012 20:07
Edited time: February 12, 2012 14:56

Syria's Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Ja'fari (center) (AFP Photo / Don Emmert)

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A week after vetoes from Russia and China put an end to a UN resolution on Syria its supporters are coming back with another draft.

­Saudi Arabia, backed by the West and the majority of Arab countries, is hoping the document will be presented before the UN General Assembly, Reuters reports. Unlike the UN Security Council, no country has the power of veto in the assembly, but its resolutions have no legal force.

Little in the text appears to have changed since the previous presentation. The resolution lays the blame for the Syrian violence, which has taken thousands of lives, at the door of President Bashar al-Assad. It also calls for him to step down before a transitional period to a democracy.

Early signs suggest that the new document will suffer the same fate as the previous one. Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Gennady Gatilov, has already dismissed the resolution as "the same unbalanced draft resolution text."

­Expert: regime change remains the goal

­In an interview with RT, Sara Marusek, a researcher from Syracuse University, said the re-submission is “not unexpected.”

“It doesn’t seem like the West is ever willing to negotiate and compromise.”

“They are interested in regime change in Syria, and they will not stop until they deliver a different government that is more sympathetic to Western interests, which is quite naïve. Any new government will also not be sympathetic to US and Israeli aggression in the region.”

­Casualties pile up

Meanwhile fighting continues in Syria itself. Government forces are besieging the city of Homs, the heartland of the uprising against al-Assad. Heavy artillery is being used to shell residential districts where the rebels are quartered.

There are no reliable figures on the numbers of casualties due to an absence of independent observers, though they are expected to be in double figures.

Meanwhile, the rebels have struck back, assassinating an army general in the suburb of the capital, Damascus.

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