North America

Syria focus shifts to United Nations

The United Kingdom has drafted a resolution to be put forward to the United Nations Security Council over Syria, British Prime Minister David Cameron's office said Wednesday.
Downing Street said "Britain has drafted a resolution condemning the chemical weapons attack by (the regime of Syrian President Bashar) Assad and authorizing necessary measures to protect civilians."
Downing Street said that the U.K. wanted the Security Council to "live up to its responsibilities on Syria."
A draft text has not been released, but the resolution, drafted under the U.N.'s Chapter 7 mandate, will be put forward at a meeting of the five permanent members of the Security Council at a meeting in New York later Wednesday.
China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. comprise the permanent members of the international body that is responsible for maintaining international peace.
The development comes as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has appealed for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Ban said the U.N. team investigating the alleged chemical attack must be given time to establish the facts.
U.N. weapons inspectors are continuing their investigation, but the U.N.'s envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said Wednesday there is evidence suggesting a chemical "substance" was used during the alleged poison gas attack near Damascus on Aug. 21.
Brahimi said international law requires a decision from the Security Council before military action can take place, legally. Brahimi was speaking at a press conference in Geneva.
The U.S. and its allies hinted Tuesday that the Assad regime may be attacked militarily for the alleged gassing of his people to halt a rebellion. Reports suggest that over 300 were killed in the attack.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that "attempts at a military solution will only lead to further destabilization in Syria and the Mideast region, while Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's leader, has said that intervention by the U.S. and its allies would be a "disaster."
Russia and China have previously vetoed Syria-related resolutions put to the Security Council.

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