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France's Juppé seeks United Nations action over Syria

Reuters/Thierry Rog

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe heads to New York on Tuesday to press the UN Security Council to take action over what a spokesperson called the Syrian regime's "crimes against humanity".

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"It's time for the Security Council to be able to contribute to the resolution of this crisis. France supports the Arab League's efforts”, said foreign ministry spokesperson Bernard Valero.

The Arab League has had observers in Syria to monitor the conflict since December, but on Saturday decided to withdrew them.

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said a draft resolution presented to the Security Council by Morocco on behalf of the Arab League on Friday should be adopted.

The 165 Arab League observers deployed after Damascus agreed to a plan foreseeing a halt to the violence, the liberation of prisoners, the withdrawal of tanks from built-up areas and the free movement of observers and foreign media.

Arabi said on Sunday he hoped Moscow and Beijing would allow the UN Security Council to issue a resolution backing a new league plan to end the crisis.

The new plan looks to a halt in the violence and Assad transferring power to his deputy ahead of negotiations, a formula flatly rejected by Damascus.

Veto-wielding Security Council member Russia opposes the draft UN resolution, and has proposed its own draft assigning equal blame for the violence to both Assad and the opposition.

 

 

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