The UN Security Council condemned Syrian authorities Wednesday for committing widespread human rights violations.
Meanwhile, the opposition-affiliated website All 4 Syria reported the state has offered to promote the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for relief of some of the sanctions recently imposed upon the government for its brutal crackdown on protesters.
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All 4 Syria cited a diplomatic source who said the Syrian intelligence minister made the suggestion to his German counterpart, offering Syrian mediation in exchange for German pressure on the international community to lift some sanctions.
The site added that the proposal was also conveyed to the German mediator in talks for Shalit between Israel and Hamas, Gerhard Conrad, who resigned recently after Hamas accused him of siding with Israel. Other European countries were notified as well, according to the source, so that leaders could form an opinion.
It is currently unclear exactly how significant of an effect Syria has on the matter of Shalit's release.
The trigger for the Security Council's negotiations on condemning Syria, meanwhile, was the military assault launched by they Syrian government over the weekend against the city of Hama. Lebanon didn't block the statement but dissociated itself from the text.
The council adopted the presidential statement to avoid having to call a formal vote on a resolution. While weaker than a resolution, a presidential statement still becomes part of the Security Council's record.
The presidential statement expresses "grave concern at the deteriorating situation in Syria, and expresses profound regret at the death of many hundreds of people."
It also expresses regret at "the lack of progress" by Syrian authorities in implementing reforms and calls on the government to keep its promises.
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