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London: No U.N. action on Syria insulting

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media following the Security Council meeting held to discuss the Arab League's peace plan for Syria at the UN on January 31, 2012 in New York City. The proposed plan calls for the transfer of power from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to his deputy and for free elections to be held. UPI/Monika Graff
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media following the Security Council meeting held to discuss the Arab League's peace plan for Syria at the UN on January 31, 2012 in New York City. The proposed plan calls for the transfer of power from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to his deputy and for free elections to be held. UPI/Monika Graff | License Photo

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The failure to move a resolution through the U.N. Security Council on Syria would be a betrayal to the Syrian people, the British foreign secretary said.

The U.N. Security Council is trying to overcome a veto threat from Russia on a resolution drafted by Morocco that calls for a transition of power in Syria. Moscow says a resolution may lead to war like last year's NATO intervention on Libya.

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British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday the resolution has less to do with foreign intervention than backing Arab initiatives aimed at brokering a political solution to the 10-month-old conflict.

"To fail to do so would be to undermine the credibility of this institution, betray the Syrian people, snub the Arab League and fail in this council's responsibilities," he said.

The United Nations estimates at least 5,000 people were killed in Syria since an uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad began.

Damascus maintains it is dealing with an armed insurgency backed by foreign interventionists. The official Syrian Arab News Agency reports that referring Damascus to the Security Council is an effort meant to destroy the country.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, however, that it was Assad who was destroying the country.

"To date, the evidence is clear that Assad's forces are initiating nearly all of the attacks that kill civilians, but as more citizens take up arms to resist the regime's brutality, violence is increasingly likely to spiral out of control," she said.

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