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.
That vote, scheduled to take place at about 5:00 pm (2100 GMT), would not end the nomination, but would put a negative recommendation in the hands of the closely-divided full Senate -- where his approval is not guaranteed.
The company said in a message to customers that the attack was detected on January 14, at a time when the app had 14 million users in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey, according to the economic news website Arabian Business.
We hope everyone remains fully committed to implementation and long-term preservation, says UN under-secretary-general
Obama, who met with Mandela in 2005 and who made an emotional address at his funeral, will speak at the lecture marking 100 years since the anti-apartheid icon was born.
A total of 41 Gazans have been martyred by Israeli gunfire since March 30
On Thursday, Iraqi F-16 fighter jets struck ISIL positions in Syria
On Thursday, Iraqi F-16 fighter jets struck ISIL locations in neighboring Syria
Turkish Historical Society head cites research from past wars
Palestinian president stresses on 2-state solution to conflict, calls East Jerusalem capital
Israeli snipers have killed 39 protesters and injured thousands who posed no threat, says Swiss-based group
Foreign Minister Cavusoglu to address UN General Assembly on Turkey’s contributions, approach to UN efforts
At least 39 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire near Gaza border
Serbia's ambassador to Ankara says 5 government ministers will accompany Serbian president
He acted quickly -- just a day after decades of Castro rule ended and long time party loyalist Miguel Diaz-Canel assumed power as president.
Multimillion-dollar lawsuit raises issue of hacking of Democratic National Committee’s servers