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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Needs Second Chance to Change Mind on Syria - SNC

RIA Novosti

15:53 13/02/2012 CAIRO, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia should be given a second chance to change its current stance on Syria during voting in the UN Security Council, according to the driving force for the Syrian opposition, the Syrian National Council (SNC).

“We need to give Russia a second chance, so that it can change its approach to the situation in Syria during voting in the UN Security Council,” Najib al-Ghadban, a member of the SNC said in an interview with Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper on Monday.

The Arab League has ended its observer mission in Syria and asked the UN Security Council on Sunday to send a peacekeeping force to the country. Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria that calls on President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Thirteen of the council’s 15 members voted in favor of the resolution to help stop the violence in Syria.

“If Russia uses its veto right once again in the Security Council resolution on Syria, the form of support that can be given to the Syrian people could be developed outside the Security Council, which would leave Moscow out of international efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria,” a member of the SNC said.

Another SNC member Haytham al-Malih believes that “Russia realizes that it is in a difficult situation” after the decision of the ministerial meeting of the Arab League in Cairo. “Moscow needs to hold urgent consultation with all parties involved to confirm their involvement in the resolution of the Syrian crisis. We expect that Russia's position on the Syrian issue will undergo significant changes soon,” al-Malih said.

The West has been trying to persuade Moscow to support a resolution effectively authorizing a military operation but Russia has repeatedly insisted that the Western drive for a stronger crackdown on Syria is preparation for a “Libyan scenario.”

Russia, one of President al-Assad’s supporters during the uprising against his regime, proposed its own draft, which the West criticized as being too soft.

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