The United States has said it is prepared to work with Russia on a draft resolution it proposed to the UN Security Council on the crisis in Syria.
The draft demands that “all parties in Syria immediately stop any violence irrespective of where it comes from,” but does not call for sanctions.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the proposal presented a “seeming parity between the government and peaceful protesters,” but that the U.S. was going to “study the draft carefully.”
France’s envoy to the UN, Gerard Araud, also criticized the draft, saying it was unbalanced and needed “a lot of amendments.”
In October, Russia joined China in vetoing a UN Security Council resolution condemning President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on anti-government protesters which the UN believes have left more than 5,000 people dead.
“It will have to be shared with the Arab League, which has taken the lead on the response to what's going on in Syria,” Clinton said during a news conference with Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal on Thursday.
“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 Security Council,” she said. “It’s just that we have differences in how to approach it.”
The surprise move came after army deserters killed 27 security forces members in and around the city of Deraa on Thursday.
Assad blames the seven-month unrest on armed gangs.
Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the draft, which toughens Moscow’s previous text, received a “constructive reaction” in the Security Council.
The text “urges the Syrian government to put an end to suppression of those exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association” and also includes a reference to “disproportionate use of force by Syrian authorities.”