PM leads Arab initiative on Syria at UN
QNA & AGENCIES
NEW YORK IN a stepped up effort to end the bloodbath in Syria, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al Thani, who is also the Chairman of the Arab Committee on Syria, held several high-level meetings in New York on Tuesday with the permanent representatives of Pakistan, South Africa and India Abdullah Haroun, Baso Sangqu and Hardeep Singh Puri, respectively.
Discussions during these meetings focused on the efforts exerted by the Arab League to resolve the crisis in Syria within the framework of the Arab initiative.
The prime minister also met with the British Foreign Minister William Hague and Portugal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Paulo Portas at the seat of the Qatar’s Permanent Mission to UN in New York.
Talks also dealt with the decision of the Arab Ministerial Council requesting the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution endorsing the Arab plan aimed to end the violence and bloodbath in Syria and restore security and stability there.
Meanwhile, western and Arab diplomats launched an offensive in hopes of overcoming Russia’s opposition to a draft resolution demanding that Syrian President Bashar al Assad relinquish power.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the British and French foreign ministers are expected to attend the Security Council session on Syria. Arab League chief Nabil al Arabi and the prime minister would brief council members.
Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the council, has objected to the draft, which is backed by Western and some Arab powers.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that the resolution is a “path to civil war.” Russia says it worries that the new measure could lead to military action and regime change, just as an Arabbacked UN resolution led to NATO airstrikes in Libya that allowed rebels to oust the regime of Moamer Qadhafi.
Backers of the draft point out that it says specifically that “nothing ... compels states to resort to the use