The latest draft of a Western-backed Arab League resolution on Syria seeks to assure Russia that military intervention isn’t planned to force out President Bashar al-Assad.
“Nothing in this resolution compels states to resort to the use of force or the threat of force,” says the draft, which was obtained today. Supporters of the proposal, who include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will argue for the resolution before the United Nations Security Council later today.
The resolution, based on an Arab League plan backed by the U.S. and the European Union, calls for Assad to hand power to his deputy in the effort to end violence. The draft expresses “its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, emphasizing the need to resolve the current crisis in Syria peacefully.”
In another move to assure the Russians, who have backed Assad and been critical of violence against his security forces, the draft “condemns all violence, irrespective of where it comes from, and in this regard demands that all parties in Syria, including armed groups, immediately stop all violence or reprisals, including attacks against state institutions.”
Given that the Arab League has suspended its observers’ mission in Syria, the draft says it regrets that the escalation in violence meant the mission “was not in a position to monitor the full implementation” of the League’s plan.
-- Editors: Larry Liebert, Leslie Hoffecker