Germany requests UN council meeting on Syria


Germany has requested that the UN Security Council meet to discuss the worsening violence in Syria, a spokesman for the German mission at the United Nations said.

The request came after human rights groups said 80 people had been killed in the Syrian city of Hama when government troops stormed in on Sunday to crush protests amid a five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Germany holds the rotating Security Council presidency until midnight on Sunday, then India takes over for the month of August, Reuters reports.

German spokesman Alexander Eberl said his mission had asked the Indian mission to schedule closed-door council consultations for Monday and it was likely to take place in the afternoon, New York time.

Practical council action on Syria has been paralyzed for weeks by disagreements within the 15-nation body.

Western European countries circulated a draft resolution on June 8 that would condemn the Syrian crackdown on protesters, but Russia and China, both allies of Damascus, have threatened to veto it.

Temporary council members Brazil, India, Lebanon and South Africa have also said they do not support the resolution. They say they fear that even a simple condemnation could be the first step towards Western military intervention in Syria, as happened in Libya in March.