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The new draft, authored by Saudi Arabia and actively supported by Egypt and Bahrain, demands that President Bashar al-Assad transfer power to a transitional government and that the Syrian army ceases its tank and helicopter attacks against rebel forces.
The resolution also demands that Syria refrain from using chemical and biological weapons. This clause comes after a recent announcement made by Damascus that alleged that Syria possessed chemical weapons, and would not hesitate to use them against an invading army.
If passed, the resolution will not be legally binding, since all UN General Assembly resolutions are advisory. Passage of the bill may nonetheless have a serious impact on the political climate surrounding Syria, paving the way for the possibility of sanctions.
The vote had originally been scheduled for Thursday morning, but was later postponed until Friday.
Moscow announced it will not support the resolution, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. "The document is of biased and unbalanced nature,” the ministry wrote in a statement, explaining that as with previous similar resolution drafts, the bill lays responsibility for resolving the violence solely on Syrian authorities, with no mention of the opposition.
Russia and China have vetoed three separate UN Security Council resolutions on Syria. In each case, both countries claimed that the bills were unbalanced.