UNITED NATIONS, Oct 23 (KUNA) -- The Security Council is expected to issue
later today, following private consultations and briefings, a draft press
statement welcoming the "important and timely" initiative of Joint Special
Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi for a truce during the upcoming Muslim holiday
of Eid Al-Edha.
According to the draft, proposed by Russia, the Council would welcome
Brahimi's "important and timely initiative... for a ceasefire and a cessation
of violence in all its forms during the period of Eid Al Adha," and "echo the
joint appeal of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the League
of Arab States to all regional and international actors to support it."
The Council would call on the Syrian Government and on all opposition
groups to "respond positively" to Brahimi's initiative as a "first step
towards the sustainable cessation of hostilities and the launch of a political
process leading to a democratic change in Syria in the interests of all its
The Council, however, may not approve another Russian draft by which the
Council would "condemn in the strongest terms" the terrorist attack in
Damascus last Sunday that caused numerous deaths and injuries among civilians.
Russia wants the Council to reaffirm that "terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international
peace and security, that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable,
regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed,
" and that the Council is determined to combat all its forms.
Council European members believe the draft is unbalanced because it ignores
terrorism carried out by government forces against civilians. Therefore, the
draft may not be approved.
The Council, however, is expected to approve another Russian draft press
statement on the fighting in the Libyan city of Bani Walid, expressing its
"grave concern" about the escalation of violence, in particular reports of
growing civilian casualties, including children.
The Council would call on the Libyan authorities to take "urgent" steps to
resolve the conflict by peaceful means, and stress the need to promote
national reconciliation and inclusive political dialogue in Libya.
According to media reports, Libyan army forces launched a full-scale
assault against the city, a former stronghold of late leader Muammar
Al-Gaddafi, accusing its inhabitants of supporting the former dictator, who
was overthrown then assassinated in 2011, and of harbouring his family and
inner circle members.
All three draft press statements were supposed to be approved late Monday,
but Council European members said they needed more time to examine the texts.
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