European nations seek Security Council Syria meeting

8th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

France, Britain and Germany have called for UN human rights chief Navi Pillay to brief the UN Security Council on the Syria crisis in a bid to put the deadly crackdown back in the diplomatic spotlight.

Diplomats from the three countries said they are ready to force a vote on the move at the 15-member council if a briefing was not agreed by consensus.

Russia and China vetoed a resolution on Syria at the Security Council in October and along with countries such as India, South Africa and Brazil have resisted moves to renew discussion of the crackdown, which the UN says has left 4,000 dead.

A final decision on Pillay's briefing will be made on Friday and the UN Human Rights commissioner could appear before the council next Tuesday, diplomats said. She is to hold a press conference in New York on Friday.

"It will be useful because it will allow the Security Council to examine its own responsibilities" in the crisis, said a UN diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity.

Diplomats said they notice signs of a shift in attitude by opponents of UN action against President Bashar al-Assad. But the western nations are waiting to see what impact Arab League sanctions have on Syria.

Brazil, which has called for dialogue between the Syrian opposition and Assad, is "misinformed" about events in the country, the head of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) said in an interview published Thursday by the Brazilian daily Estado de Sao Paulo.

"The situation is deteriorating and we are going to reach out to Brazil to explain what is happening and show the crimes committed by Assad," Burhan Ghalioun said in the interview in Geneva where he conferred with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Ghalioun said the Brazilians were out of touch. "Today no country is asking for a dialogue between the opposition and Assad," he told Estado.

© 2011 AFP

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