Russia has distributed to the 14 other United Nations Security Council members the draft of a new resolution aimed at pressuring the Syrian regime to take action to halt the bloodshed in the country.
Reports say that while envoys from Western countries view the proposed Russian text as not tough enough on the Syrian regime, they are willing to negotiate with Moscow in a bid to agree on what could be the Security Council's first binding resolution on the bloody crackdown by the Syrian regime against opposition protesters.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the United States is ready to work with Russia to achieve agreement on a resolution.
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the text urges an end to the violence that the UN estimates has killed more than 5,000 people over nine months. He also said the text doesn't mention sanctions.
"We propose to the Council a new version which takes into account the developments of the past few months,” said Churkin, “and which considerably strengthens all aspects of the previous text, with regard to the need to stop violence, with regard to the need to uphold human rights, with regard to expediting reforms (in Syria).”
Secretary of State Clinton said that while the U.S. does not fully agree with Moscow's current proposal, she said it is the "first time" that Russia has recognized that the violence in Syria needs to be taken up by the Security Council.
"Hopefully we can work with the Russians, who, for the first time, at least, are recognizing that this is a matter that needs to go to the [UN] Security Council,” Clinton said. “It's just that we have differences in how they are approaching it, but we hope to be able to work with them."
Veto-holding Security Council members Russia and China have previously refused to support a resolution that would put the main blame for the bloodshed on the Syrian regime.
The UN developments came as Syrian activists said that army deserters had killed 27 soldiers
in southern Syria, in some of the deadliest attacks on forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad since the start of the uprising in March.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the clashes flared in the southern city of Daraa, and at a checkpoint east of the city where all 15 personnel manning it were killed.
compiled from agency reports