The European Union has urged the UN Security Council to take immediate steps to end the violence in Syria despite Russia’s opposition to an Arab League-supported UN draft resolution.
“I urge all members of the UN Security Council to assume their responsibilities in relation to the situation in Syria," EU President Van Rompuy said in a statement after a EU summit in Brussels on Monday.
Van Rompuy welcomed the Arab League’s move on Saturday to suspend the work of its monitoring mission in Syria due to increased violence, and said the EU would continue to support the organization’s efforts to resolve the political crisis in the country.
The UN Security Council will consider the draft resolution on Syria at its session on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Syrian authorities have accepted Russia’s proposal to meet with the opposition in Moscow, although the opposition is unlikely to answer the call for a dialogue unless it satisfies their demand for President Bashar al-Assad’s resignation.
Russia has been one of Assad’s staunchest supporters during the ten-month-long uprising against his regime. Moscow has proposed its own draft UN resolution on Syria, but Western members of the Security Council have criticized it as too soft.
The West has already adopted a number of sanctions against the Syrian regime, including asset freezes and travel bans against regime leaders.
Over 5,000 people have been killed in the Syrian government's crackdown on protesters since last March, according to the UN. Syrian authorities blame the violence on armed gangs affiliated with al-Qaeda and say more than 2,000 soldiers and police have been killed.