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23/10/2012 | LOC
13:30 GMT
| World News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
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 citizens." 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. (end) sj.asa KUNA 231030 Oct 12NNNN
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