The United Nations Security Council is to vote on a resolution regarding Syria on Saturday, with all eyes on Russia, Syria’s strongest ally on the council.
Russia initially rejected parts of the latest draft, but it remains unclear which way they will vote on Saturday, as hope remains that the resolution could still be passed.
Pakistan’s U.N. Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon told reporters that the council was “very close… two words away" from an accord.
Whilst the latest text does not explicitly mention sanctions, parts of the resolution are still opposed by Russia, including warnings of “further measures” and that the council “fully supports” the Arab League plan.
A Western official commented that if an agreement was to be reached at the UN,
"It would scare the Assad regime a lot more than a more robust text vetoed by Russians."
"It would mean the Russians are slowly accepting the idea that Assad will depart and would also send a powerful message to people around Assad that it might be time to leave the sinking ship."
The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, reportedly spoke on the phone with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, in an attempt to smooth over any opposition leading upto the vote.
Meanwhile, more than 200 people were reported to be killed in the city of Homs as President Assad’s troops shelled the city. The UN has ceased to estimate the number of deaths since the end of January, citing that it was now too difficult to confirm any casualties.
Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church asked the government for clarification in regards to the presidential election in Januray announced this week, which has casted doubt on the visit to Sri Lanka by Pope Francis, according to AFP.
Sri Lanka's opposition party, the United National Party (UNP) blamed the government for the European Union's annulment of anti-terror measures against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) last week.
The Sri Lankan parliament passed the law banning the sale of land to foreign citizens, on Monday night, reports Reuters.
The Land Bill, will mean that foreigners will only be able to lease land for up to 99 years.
Sri Lanka welcomed Iran’s technical and engineering assistance and called for further cooperation between the two nations on Monday.
The two nations outlined plans to prioritise the expansion of bilateral ties in both of their future plans,
The mother of Suntharalingam Gajatheeban, also known as Theiveegan, who was killed by the Sri Lankan military in April, was prevented from leaving Sri Lanka on Tuesday, despite being in possession of a valid visa, the Daily Mirror reports.
The European Union has defended the annulment of the measures in place against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in a statement released on Tuesday, saying the moves were of a legal nature and not political.