Damascus 'regrets' West rejection of Russian draft resolution
Iran Press TV
Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:4PM
Syria's deputy foreign minister said Saturday that Damascus is disappointed over a decision by the West to reject a Russian draft resolution aimed at de-escalating tensions in Syria.
Faisal al-Mekdad said he "regrets" that Western countries decided to reject the UN draft resolution proposed by Russia aimed at halting cross-border shelling and preventing a foreign ground intervention in Syria.
"We are not surprised" by the decision taken by Western countries 'that have conspired against Syria and submitted all kinds of support for terrorists,' Mekdad said in comments carried by the Syrian news agency SANA.
The draft resolution was put forth by Russia on Friday at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
The council held an emergency meeting on Friday afternoon at Moscow's request to discuss Syria-related developments, including the resolution, which calls on the council to express "its grave alarm at the reports of military buildup and preparatory activities aimed at launching foreign ground intervention into the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic."
It also called on countries to 'refrain from provocative rhetoric and inflammatory statements inciting further violence and interference into internal affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic.'
The draft was, however, rejected by the United States, France and Britain.
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said Russia is 'trying to distract the world' with the draft resolution, calling on Moscow to focus on implementing a UN resolution agreed by the 15-member council in December last year that endorsed an international road map for a peace process in Syria.
The resolution, adopted on December 18, 2015, called for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria and the formation of a "credible, inclusive and non-sectarian" government within six months and UN-supervised "free and fair elections" within 18 months.
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