x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Russia and China plan 'balanced' Syria resolution

The Moscow-drafted version will condemn violence carried out both by the regime of Bashar Al Assad and the rebel opposition.

MOSCOW // Russia and China are ready to propose a UN resolution on Syria that is more "balanced" than the West's draft that they controversially vetoed last week, Russia's minister of foreign affairs, Sergei Lavrov, said yesterday.

Mr Lavrov said in Profil magazine that the Moscow-drafted version would condemn violence carried out both by the regime of Bashar Al Assad and the rebel opposition.

His comments came as the Kremlin's Africa envoy, Mikhail Margelov, and Qadri Jamil, a communist and member of the so-called "internal opposition" in Syria, urged all conflicting parties to sit down for talks.

Russia and China last week blocked a UN resolution against Mr Al Assad's crackdown on protests, even after the West dropped the word "sanctions" from its draft.

"We propose to adopt a balanced resolution that would condemn violence from both sides," Mr Lavrov said. "We need to encourage the Syrian opposition to come to the negotiating table ... Together with our Chinese partners we are ready to offer such a resolution."

Clashes over the weekend left at least 17 members of the military and 14 civilians dead, said the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

* Agence France-Presse with Associated Press