U.S. backs Chapter VII resolution for Syria

June 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. treasury secretary said Washington was considering a Chapter VII resolution at the U.N. Security Council, which authorizes the use of force in Syria.

The U.S. Treasury Department hosted a so-called Friends of Syria working group in Washington to bolster international efforts to pressure the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Assad's government is accused of committing atrocities against its people during a crisis entering its second year. The United Nations estimates at least 10,000 people have died as a result of the conflict, which the government in Damascus blames in part on domestic terrorists.

Delegates from more than 50 countries attended the meeting in Washington, which was co-chaired by Qatar, Turkey and the United States.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Washington was leaning in favor of a Chapter VII resolution if the peace plan brokered by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan proves ineffective.

"Absent meaningful compliance by the regime with the Annan plan, that is the direction in which we are soon headed," he said in a statement.

London last week during a meeting with the U.N. Human Rights Council said it supported efforts to refer Damascus to the International Criminal Court.

Russia and China, two veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, object to any formal action at the Security Council. The Kremlin said this week pressure should be exerted on Syrian rebels who are accused of violating the terms of the cease-fire.

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