Legal experts resume discussion of UN draft resolution on Syria

Legal experts resume discussion of UN draft resolution on Syria

United Nations Security Council's legal experts resumed Monday discussion of a draft resolution demanding an end to the bloodshed in Syria and protection of civilians, the United States said, dpa reported.

"We think what is contained in this draft resolution is quite straightforward, there are no sanctions, no use or threat of use of force as some have alleged," US Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters as the 15-nation council prepared for a meeting on Tuesday with the Arab League's Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi.

"It's primarily a straightforward condemnation of what has transpired and called for the government of Syria to adhere to the commitments it made to the Arab League and an endorsement of the Arab League's plan," Rice said.

The resolution called for a ending the 11-month-old conflict between Syrian security forces and the opposition and the formation of a transitional unity government in Damascus and other democratic steps. The UN said more than 5,400 people have been killed.

The draft was presented last week by Morocco, a Security Council member, on behalf of Arab countries.

The council's legal experts are involved in drafting resolutions to ensure that the documents meet international law.

Rice said the draft needed no extended negotiations and she called for the council to meet its responsibilities in ending the conflict in Syria.

Russia, one of the five permanent members, have rejected the draft. China has not publicly indicated its preference while the other permanent members - the US, France and Britain - support the draft.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State on Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the escalation of the Syrian regimes "violent and brutal attacks on its own people."

"The Security Council must act and make clear to the Syrian regime that the world community views its actions as a threat to peace and security," Clinton said.

Clinton is to attend a Security Council meeting on Syria Tuesday, she said in a statement.

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