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UN Council envoys agree to condemn Syria


UN Security Council ambassadors have agreed on a text to "condemn" the Syrian government's crackdown on protests, diplomats say.

The text, which was expected to be adopted as a council statement later today, would "condemn widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities", according to a copy obtained by AFP.
The statement would drop references to a UN Human Rights Council investigation into the government clampdown since March in which more than 1400 people are believed to have been killed.

The text calls "on the Syrian authorities to fully respect human rights and to comply with their obligations under applicable international law. Those responsible for the violence should be held accountable".
The council would also "note" President Bashar al-Assad's reform promises and "regret the lack of progress in implementation, and call upon the Syrian government to implement their commitments".

Following the new changes, Russia lifted its objections. Russia's UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, called the new version "balanced".

The only future action provided for is a request to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report back to the council within seven days on the situation in Syria. It does not specify what follow-up there might be to his report.

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