US, Russia Push Competing Syria Observer Deals at UN

Russia Seeks Single Issue Resolution to Get Team on the Ground

by Jason Ditz, April 13, 2012

With Syria’s ceasefire holding, the next step in Kofi Annan’s peace plan is the deployment of a UN monitor team. This is a subject of major discussion at the UN Security Council, with the US and Russia advancing two alternative resolutions.

The US draft calls for the deployment of the initial wave of observers, but also included a number of demands on the Assad regime, and a broad condemnation of “widespread violations of human rights.”

Russia objected to the inclusion of the condemnations and demands, and has pushed an alternative “single issue” resolution that approves the observers. They insisted that the deployment was too urgent to be bogged down in other issues. The next round of talks is early Saturday.

Russia has also announced that they will be deploying warships along the Syrian coast on a “permanent basis,” citing a growing number of NATO warships in the region since the latest outbreak of violence.

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