The latest draft, obtained Thursday by the Associated Press, still "fully supports" the Arab League's Jan. 22 decision to "facilitate a political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system."
The league's peace plan calls for Assad to delegate his authority to his deputy.
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But in an apparent effort to overcome Russian objections, the new version of the UN resolution no longer includes the explicit reference to Assad delegating his powers. It also removes the explicit call for a new national unity government and for transparent, free elections — also important parts of the Arab peace plan.
The revised draft also deletes a paragraph calling on UN member states to take steps to prevent the flow of arms into Syria. Russia is a major arms supplier to Syria, a key regional ally since Soviet times.
Council ambassadors were to discuss the latest version behind closed doors Thursday afternoon, and issued no statements about the new draft before the gathering.
It was unclear if the change would be enough to get Russian support for the resolution.
The Russians have said that the Arab peace plan would amount to regime change, and they would not back a draft that expressed support for the plan.
As a permanent council member, Russia can use its veto to block the resolution. Russia and China, another permanent member, issued a double veto in October to block an earlier resolution condemning the violence in Syria.
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