Tuesday, June 14, 2011

France calls on Brazil to change its position on Syria

.- The French envoy to the UN called on Monday for the skeptic Brazil to support a European draft resolution that would condemn Syria for its bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters. Brazil, India and South Africa, has expressed reservations about the draft prepared by Britain, France, Germany and Portugal.

Russia and China have suggested they might veto the text. The result, UN diplomats said, is a stalemate in the Security Council from 15 countries. It is still unclear when and whether European countries will put the draft resolution to a vote. "The Brazilian government has denounced the use of force in Syria and demanded that a political process responds to the aspirations of the Syrian people," said the French ambassador, Gerard Araud, the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo.

"We sincerely hope that the vote of Brazil reflects this support to the democratic aspirations of Arab people," he said, according to the transcript of the interview released by the French Mission to the UN. Araud said the draft resolution "was intended only to encourage the Syrian authorities to heed the aspirations of their people and to launch a national political dialogue without foreign interference." "For that to happen, the violence must end," he added.

Security Council diplomats met Saturday with the hope of ending the deadlock over a draft resolution that would impose sanctions on Syria, but would condemn the repression and suggest that the security forces are guilty of crimes against humanity. Russia and China never appeared for the meeting, envoys said.

Last week, Foreign Minister of Brazil, Antonio Patriota, said in New York that the resolution condemning Syria inflame tensions in the region. Western diplomats have suggested that Russia and China are using the positions of the other powerful members of the group called BRICS-India, Brazil and South Africa as a pretext for a possible veto the resolution on Syria.

"(The discussion) Syria is stagnant, with Russia and China hiding behind India, Brazil and South Africa," said one diplomat. "Verg uenza absolute," he added. If Brazil, India and South Africa changed their positions on the resolution and agreed to vote for Russia and China might change its stance, said the diplomat.

Western powers are using bilateral channels to put pressure on Brazil, South Africa and India to vote for the draft text, "said another diplomat. Russia has said it is concerned that a Syrian action by the Security Council open the door to a Western-style intervention occurred in Libya.

Moscow has accused NATO of overreaching its UN mandate to protect civilians in that country. United States is sponsoring the Syrian decision but has made clear that it supports the text and condemns the violence against demonstrators. On Saturday accused the Syrian government to create a "humanitarian crisis" and asked him to halt its offensive.

Considering the complicated ties with neighboring Syria, Lebanon, diplomats said they expected to vote against the draft. To be approved, resolutions require nine votes in favor and no veto from the five permanent members-Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

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