World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.N. General Assembly said on Tuesday it will hold a meeting on the crisis in Syria this week and diplomats say it will likely vote on a Saudi-drafted resolution that condemns the Security Council for failing to take action against Damascus.
The 193-nation assembly's press office said the meeting on Syria's 16-month-old conflict would occur at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) on Thursday.
U.N. diplomats said the assembly was expected to vote on a draft resolution that voices "grave concern at the escalation of violence in the Syrian Arab Republic, in particular the continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights."
The latest draft, dated July 30, was penned by Saudi Arabia, which is openly supporting the rebel forces fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
The draft resolution would also have the assembly "expressing grave concern at the Syrian authorities' threat to use chemical or biological weapons." Damascus recently acknowledged having chemical arms, but said it would only use such weapons if it was attacked by foreign powers.
The assembly meeting comes after Russia and China on July 19 used their Security Council veto powers for the third time to strike down a Western-backed draft resolution that would have threatened Syrian authorities with sanctions if they failed to halt the violence.
The Saudi draft resolution would also have the assembly "deploring the Security Council failure toagree on measures to ensure the Syrian authorities' compliance with its decisions" calling for an endto the violence. That condemnation, Western envoys say, is aimed at Moscow and Beijing.
Unlike Security Council resolutions, which can be legally binding, General Assembly resolutions are non-binding. But there are no vetoes in the assembly and only a simple majority is needed to pass them.
Western diplomats say they hope a strong majority vote in the assembly for a resolution condemningSyria and the Security Council would increase the pressure on Russia and China to stop shielding Assad from sanctio ns.
The Saudi resolution also reiterates the Arab League's calls for Assad to step down and allow a political transition to a democratic government.
The draft text urges both the government forces and rebels to stop the violence, though it focuses its criticism on Assad's government.
Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari has repeatedly accused Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser of Qatar, president of the General Assembly, of using his position to push the Qatari national agenda. Damascus has said repeatedly that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are arming the rebels.
Ain Zalah's oil wells produce some 20,000 barrels of oil per day, an important source of revenue for ISIL
The Algerian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the general consul died of illness in Mali
The United States penalized a number of Iranian and other foreign companies, banks and airlines for violating sanctions against Tehran largely tied to its nuclear work
Nine Lebanese soldiers held by the ISIL have appeared in a new video, appealing to their government to intervene and meet the demands of the group or they will be beheaded within three days.
IGAD leaders signed the protocol that stresses the need for both sides to iron out major sticking points – on the economic, political and security fronts – within 45 days.
In a phone conversation Abbas discussed with the Emir of Qatar the need for the international community to honor its commitments toward the residents of Gaza, the Palestinian news agency said
Cameron said he believed the "No" campaign's arguments were resonating with voters and accused the pro-independence camp of bullying opponents.
Shlosberg's local newspaper Pskovskaya Guberniya published the investigation into funerals of soldiers from a local paratroop division last week.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, condemning Russian intervention in his country, said that there were now thousands of foreign troops and hundreds of foreign tanks in Ukraine.
PM Sharif says opposition demands in line with constitution are being addressed as opposition appears to lose footing amid an alleged 'cold war' between government and army
Hadi re-assigned the presidential committee to head to Saada for another round with Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the Shiite group, over the latter's demand of the dismissal of the government and reversal of a recent government decision to lift fuel subsidies is reversed.
Morsi's supporters who staged protests, marches and human chains in different parts across this country
Earlier this month, West Point residents woke up to find their township heavily barricaded with barbed wire and surrounded by security forces
Xi said the army must "strive to establish a new military doctrine, institutions, equipment systems, strategies and tactics and management modes" for information warfare.
Catherine Ashton, the EU's top diplomat, is expected to continue to lead nuclear negotiations with Iran even as she leaves her EU job at the end of October.
Political tensions have been running high in Lesotho since June when Prime Minister Thomas Thabane suspended the country's parliament to avoid a no-confidence vote