UN General Assembly resolution draft drops call for Syria's Assad to step down

Arab countries have dropped a demand that Syrian President Bashar Assad resign in the latest draft of a symbolic U.N. General Assembly resolution that faces a Friday vote.

The draft resolution also no longer asks other nations to place sanctions on Syria over its civil war.

The draft had run into resistance on those points from countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China.

A Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was commenting on a General Assembly matter, said lack of support from those nations would have shaken confidence in the resolution among many developing countries.

With the tougher language, the draft was in danger of falling below 100 votes in the 193-member Assembly.

Russia and China have vetoed proposals on Syria in the more powerful Security Council.