July 20 - The U.N. approves a resolution extending the monitoring mission in Syria for an additional 30 days. Deborah Luttrerbeck reports.
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday to extend its monitoring mission in Syria for 30 days. Russia along with China vetoed an earlier resolution which would have opened the door to sanctions on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia dropped its objections after the proposal was broadened to require both government forces and rebel fighters to take steps to halt the violence. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VITALY CHURKIN, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR, SAYING: "We are very pleased with the outcome of our work on this resolution. It is a balanced resolution. Its requirements are addressed to all sides in Syria." Both the United States and Britain described the new resolution as a last chance for the observers. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARK LYALL GRANT, BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, SAYING: " We believe that it is the right thing to do to give a final chance for that mission to be able to fulfill its function, but we have said clearly that it is a final extension unless there is a chance in the dynamic on the ground and in particular that there should be a cessation of use of heavy weapons and that there should be a sufficient reduction in the violence to enable UNSMIS to carry out its mandate." Most of the UN monitoring activity was suspended on June 16 due to increased risk from rising violence. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.