UN General Assembly denounces Syrian crackdown

Associated Press
FILE - This June 3, 2012 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad delivers a speech at the parliament in Damascus, Syria. Arab countries on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 pushed ahead with a symbolic U.N. General Assembly resolution that tells Assad to resign and turn over power to a transitional government. It also demands that the Syrian army stop its shelling and helicopter attacks and withdraw to its barracks. A vote is set for Friday morning. (AP Photo/SANA, File)
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FILE - This June 3, 2012 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad delivers a speech at the parliament in Damascus, Syria. Arab countries on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 pushed ahead with a symbolic U.N. General Assembly resolution that tells Assad to resign and turn over power to a transitional government. It also demands that the Syrian army stop its shelling and helicopter attacks and withdraw to its barracks. A vote is set for Friday morning. (AP Photo/SANA, File)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly has overwhelmingly denounced Syria's crackdown and demanded the lockdown of its chemical and biological weapons.

Friday's vote comes after the more powerful Security Council has been deadlocked by Russian and Chinese vetoes on resolutions that would open the door to sanctions on Syria.

General Assembly resolutions are unenforceable but can carry moral weight.

The resolution says "the first step in the cessation of violence has to be made by the Syrian authorities."

The General Assembly resolution's Arab sponsors this week weakened two key provisions — a demand that President Bashar Assad resign and a call for other nations to place sanctions on Syria over its civil war.

Russia and China had objected to those provisions.

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