UN General Assembly urges Assad to step down

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UN General Assembly urges Assad to step down

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The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelming passed a non-binding resolution calling on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step aside. The Arab-backed text also calls for an end to the bloodshed in Syria.

It received support from 137 UN members. There were 17 abstentions.

Just 12 countries voted against. Russia, Iran, and China were amongst those who refused to back the call for Assad to go. Moscow and Beijing vetoed a similar draft at the Security Council on February 4th, citing opposition to regime change.

On Thursday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Syrian authorities to stop killing civilians, saying crimes against humanity may have been committed.

Activists say more than 7,000 people have died since March in the uprising against the Assad family’s four decade rule.