UN powers start Syria resolution talks
Envoys from Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States started talks Wednesday on a British drafted UN Security Council resolution that could allow military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats said.
The envoys held talks behind closed doors at the UN Security Council offices to discuss the resolution after the suspected use of chemical weapons near Damascus last week in an attack which left hundreds dead.
Britain wants the resolution to allow "all necessary measures to protect civilians," which could mean military action.
Russia fiercely opposes giving UN backing to what it considers western moves to oust Assad.
All five countries at the talks are permanent members of the 15-nation Security Council who can veto any resolution. Russia and China have already vetoed three resolutions that would have stepped up pressure on Assad without imposing sanctions.
Russia has said the Council should wait for UN chemical weapons inspectors to finish their inquiry in Syria before deciding any action. UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that the inspectors need four more days to finish their work.
© 2013 AFP