Western powers pressed the UN Security Council to condemn Syria's crackdown on opposition protests amid strong resistance from Russia and China. According to AFP, Britain and France have drawn up a new resolution which demands that President Bashar al-Assad end the violence and lift the siege of protest cities. It also calls for an arms embargo on Damascus.
France's envoy said that there was no intention to launch Libya-style military action.
Britain, France, Germany and Portugal have submitted the resolution and claim they are ready to risk a veto by Russia which reaffirmed its opposition to action by the 15-member Security Council. "We believe that the world should not stand silent in the face of the outrages that are happening and we therefore hope that we will be able to move to vote on the resolution in coming days," said Britain's UN ambassador Mark Lyall Grant.
French ambassador Gerard Araud called the resolution an attempt to send a "political message" to Assad that it is time to carry out reforms.