UN General Assembly Plans to Vote on Syria Resolution on Thursday

Saudi Arabia-led draft resolution condemns the ongoing violence in Syria and calls for a political transition to a democratic system.

The UN General Assembly is scheduled to meet Thursday to consider a Saudi Arabia-led draft resolution condemning the continuing violence in Syria and calling for a political transition to a democratic system.

The meeting is set for 2000 GMT, diplomats and the UN confirmed Wednesday. The assembly may vote on the draft, which contains language similar to the Western-backed resolution that was vetoed by Russia and China at a UN Security Council meeting on February 4.

UN General Assembly

UN leaders, including Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, have criticized the council's failure to act to stop the bloodshed in Syria, which has killed thousands of people since the unrest began in March.

The Saudi draft, which has yet to be circulated officially in the 193-nation assembly, would back the Arab League's plan of action to end the fighting between government security forces and the opposition.

A veto by world powers cannot be applied in the assembly.

Ban was visiting Vienna on Wednesday and his schedule included meetings with Austrian officials and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Western powers and the Arab League have been looking at new measures to stop the escalating violence after the failure of the Security Council resolution, which would have called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to hand over power to his deputy.

The Syrian army has intensified its assault on Homs since the veto, besieging the central city and shelling the Baba Amr neighborhood, the center of anti-regime protests, on a daily basis.