Britain, France to present Syria UN resolution: Cameron

8th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain and France are to submit a resolution at the United Nations Security Council later Wednesday condemning the "repression" in Syria, British Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Syrian anti-government protests erupted in March and more than 1,100 civilians, including dozens of children, have been killed in the ensuing security crackdown, according to rights groups.

"There are credible reports of a thousand dead and as many as 10,000 detained and the violence being meted out to peaceful protesters and demonstrators is completely unacceptable," Cameron told parliament.

"Of course, we must not stand silent in the face of these outrages and we won't.

"In the EU we've already frozen assets and banned travel by members of the regime and we've now added President (Bashar al-) Assad to that list.

"But I believe we need to go further and today in New York, Britain and France will be tabling a resolution at the Security Council condemning the repression and demanding accountability and humanitarian access," Cameron said.

"If anyone votes against that resolution, or tries to veto it, that should be on their conscience," he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that Moscow opposed the idea of a Security Council vote condemning Syria's crackdown on opposition protests.

Damascus is Moscow's closest ally in the Middle East. Russia has a naval base at Tartus in Syria.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement to parliament Tuesday that London had circulated a draft resolution.

"A resolution is not in our gift, and needs the support of nine UN Security Council members and no vetoes," he said.

"We are working to persuade other countries that the Security Council has a responsibility to speak out. President Assad is losing legitimacy and should reform or step aside."

© 2011 AFP

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