UN Security Council close to condemning Syria: France

17th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN Security Council is close to achieving a majority for a resolution to condemn Syria's violent crackdown on political protests, France's foreign minister said Tuesday.

"It seems that a majority of nine votes is being assembled right at this moment," out of the Security Council's 15 members, Alain Juppe told parliament.

"There is still the threat of a veto by Moscow and Beijing," two of the five permanent members who have the power to block resolutions, he added.

France has called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be specifically targeted by sanctions.

Syria has been roiled by unprecedented protests for two months that have threatened Assad's authoritarian regime.

More than 850 people, including women and children, have been killed in the unrest and at least 8,000 arrested, according to rights groups.

© 2011 AFP

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