UN rights body poised to condemn Syria, order probe

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  • Divided Human Rights Council due to adopt U.S. resolution

  • U.N. would condemn killings, order fact-finding inquiry

  • China, Russia, Egypt among those strongly opposed

  • Challenge for Arab countries; Saudi and Qatar may abstain

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, April 29 (Reuters) - The United Nations is poised to condemn Syria on Friday for killings and mass arrests of protesters under a U.S. initiative intended to send a strong signal to Damascus, Western diplomats said.

The Human Rights Council was expected to call for setting up a fact-finding mission to look into violations committed by Syrian forces and also suggest that Syria had no business seeking membership in the forum next month, they said.

But as a special session sought by the United States began, U.S. and European envoys were still trying to persuade swing states in Latin America and Africa to back their joint resolution.

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