World powers struggle to agree on UN Syria resolution
19 December 2015, Nirapad News: UN diplomats were working Friday to iron out differences over a draft Security Council resolution endorsing the Syrian peace process just hours before a council meeting called to adopt the measure, diplomats said.
Work on the text began last week among the permanent five council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — to give UN approval to the roadmap for a Syrian political transition agreed during international talks in Vienna.
Talks on the draft text were continuing around midday, a few hours before the council meeting scheduled for 3 pm (2000 GMT).
“There are some minor points,” a diplomat said of the differences, adding that there remained a chance of reaching agreement on the draft resolution.
Foreign ministers from 17 countries were meeting in New York to push forward on a plan to launch the political transition to end Syria’s nearly five-year war.
The ministers of the 15-member Security Council were scheduled to convene for a vote on the draft text, once a final version was agreed between the so-called P5.
Differences focused on references to the Geneva communique on Syria that call for a transitional governing body, language that is not specifically contained in the Vienna statements, a diplomat said.
Another point of contention was a reference to the Riyadh meeting, which established a broad Syrian opposition that will designate negotiators to future talks with the Damascus regime.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Thursday that the initial idea was for a “very short resolution” that would reaffirm the content of the two communiques from the Vienna meetings.
“As often happens in the Security Council, there’s an attempt to come up with additional wording and we saw some of these as an attempt to re-write the Vienna documents,” Churkin said.
The international talks on Syria were to lay the groundwork for a ceasefire and political negotiations to end the war, but differences remain over the fate of President Bashar Al-Assad.
The draft resolution makes no reference to Assad, according to diplomats.