Washington says continues talks with Russia on conflict in Syria

The United States and Russia continue talks on the conflict situation in Syria, said Mark Toner, a U.S. Department of State deputy spokesperson.

Asked whether the United States are holding consultations with Russia concerning a possible UN Security Council resolution on Syria, similar to the one on Libya early this year, Toner said that, “We continue to talk with Russia. We continue to talk with everyone, trying to make the case for further action against Syria.”

Toner said that it is still early to talk about such resolution on Syria and although the United States look at the UN Security Council as an effective tool in resolving the conflict much has been already done without organization’s involvement.

“The Arab League has taken really an historic position against Syria, and has enacted now economic sanctions against them, and suspended them from membership to the Arab League. So we continue to look to the Security Council if it’s indeed a viable option. But we’ve succeeded, I think, outside of the Security Council in applying additional pressure,” he said.

On October 4, Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed draft resolution condemning violence in Syria and calling on the country’s embattled president Bashar al-Assad to immediately fulfill the promised reforms or face “targeted measures.”

Russia, which stands firmly against any mention of sanctions citing the example of Libya where the NATO countries largely overstepped the UN mandate in a military operation against Muammar Gaddafi, said the text of the document was “unacceptable” and reflected a “confrontational” approach toward the resolution of the crisis in Syria.

According to UN estimates, more than 3,500 people have been killed in Syria since mid-March, when first protests against Bashar al-Assad’s regime began.


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