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UN General Assembly approves nonbinding resolution calling for political transition in Syria


FILE - In this file image from video broadcast on Syrian state television Wednesday, April 17, 2013, President Bashar Assad speaks during an interview. The Syrian government wants more details before deciding whether to take part in a proposed U.S.-Russian initiative to negotiate a peaceful end to Syria's crisis, the country's information minister said Tuesday, May 14, 2013, staking out a similar position to the main opposition group. One of the key sticking points in even bringing the sides to the table for talks has been the role of Assad in any negotiated transition.(AP Photo/Syrian State TV via AP video, File) (The Associated Press)

The U.N. General Assembly has approved an Arab-backed resolution calling for a political transition in Syria and strongly condemning President Bashar Assad's regime for its escalating use of heavy weapons.

The resolution was adopted Wednesday by a vote of 107 to 12 with 59 abstentions.

The support was far lower than for the assembly's previous resolution last August denouncing Syria's crackdown on dissent.

That was approved by an overwhelming vote of 133-12 with 31 abstentions.

Russia, a close ally of Syria, urged a "no" vote and a group of Latin American countries led by Argentina demanded changes — which weren't accepted — to water down the resolution's support for the Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition group.