UN fails to agree on Syria statement - RT 110428.





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Uploaded on Apr 28, 2011

The UN Security Council has failed to agree on an EU-proposed statement to condemn Syria's brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters. The talks are to continue on Thursday.

There was no consensus on Wednesday as Russia, China, India and Lebanon, the only Arab country in the council, did not support the statement.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Army has deployed more tanks and re-enforcements in the south. More than 450 people have been killed since the protests began over a month ago.

Although Russia, China, India and Lebanon admit they are concerned about the Syrian death toll, they are against any active international participation in the internal conflict.

Russia says the conflict in Libya requires no external interference, adding the decision could only provoke more violence and destabilize the entire region.

According to Russia's deputy envoy to the UN Aleksandr Pankin, the current situation in Syria, "despite rising tension and confrontation, does not constitute a threat to international peace and safety".

He also noted that it is not only the authorities who are using excessive force, but also the protesters, bringing the country to the verge of civil war.

"It is getting quite clear that some of the protesters in Syria and other states hope that more protests will make the international community take their side and help them," he observed.

"Such an approach provokes an endless chain of violence. This is sort of an invitation to civil war," added Pankin.

­Bitter lesson learned through Libya
­Judging by such statements it is highly unlikely Russia will support some sort of a no-fly zone over Syria, as it says in the case of Libya the idea was at least supported and called for by the Arab League.

There has been a lot of controversy and heated debate around the UN resolution on Libya already.

Russia abstained from the vote on imposing a no-fly zone in Libya, and since then has been criticizing the operation led by NATO.

Russia points to the fact that the aim of a no-fly zone was to protect civilians, however, they keep dying every day with the military operation going on. Besides, air strikes are targeting Gaddafi's compounds, although the resolution said the Libyan leader was not the target of the operation.

Therefore, Moscow says the coalition does not comply with its mandate and called, along with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on NATO to stay strictly within the limits of the mandate.

­Meanwhile, Middle East experts say Syria cannot be dealt with like other Arab uprisings.

James Denselow, a writer on Middle East politics and security, believes the situation in Syria is not ripe for any form of direct military intervention. The more interesting question, according to Denselow, is whether the country, which has withstood various degrees of US sanctions over the past decade, will be deterred by any further international sanctions.

"People will be very conscious of the fact that Syria is not Libya, and the fact that if you do decide to intervene in Syria, you will have knock-on effects across the region -- in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine," he said.

"And this is a scenario the Western powers feel very dubious about -- finding themselves sort of neck-deep in," added Denselow.

"I think the Americans would be very conscious of the fact that any pressure they put on Syria today will simply force Syria toward more traditional allies, such as Iran and Russia," he continued.

"So I don't think the Americans have that on their mind -- I think they are far more concerned with their traditional interests in the region," he concluded.


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