UN Security Council resolution on Syria:
Russia, China veto sparks West’s outrage
UNITED NATIONS: Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a UN Security
Council resolution on Syria for the third time, sparking outrage by the
Western nations which demanded sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad.
The US presidency called the third veto in nine months “highly
regrettable”. Britain said it was “appalled”. France said Russia and
China had given the Syrian government time to “crush the opposition.”
Eleven of the 15 nations on the council voted for the resolution, Russia
and China voted against -- killing the resolution, as permanent members
of the council have veto power -- while Pakistan and South Africa
Amid growing doubts over the future of the peace mission of UN-Arab
League envoy Kofi Annan, the United States said it would now act outside
of the UN body to confront Assad.
US ambassador Susan Rice called the veto “dangerous and deplorable”.
“We will intensify our work with a diverse range of partners outside
the Security Council to bring pressure to bear on the Assad regime and
to deliver assistance to those in need,” she said.
“The Security Council has failed utterly in its most important task
on the agenda this year,” she added.
“It is clear that Russia only aims to give more time to the Syrian
regime to crush the opposition,” said France's envoy Gerard Araud.
“Refusing Annan the means of pressure that he asked for is to
threaten his mission,” Araud told the council.
Britain is “appalled” at the veto, said British ambassador Mark Lyall
Grant, whose country took the lead in writing the resolution.
“The effect of their actions is to protect a brutal regime. They have
chosen to put their national interests ahead of the lives of millions of
Syrians.” The British text, backed by the United States, France, Germany
and Portugal, threatened non-military sanctions under Chapter VII of the
UN Charter if Assad does not withdraw heavy weapons from Syrian cities.
Russia, Assad's key ally, refused to accept sanctions or action under
Chapter VII. Western nations wanted to use the resolution to justify
“external military involvement” in Syria,” Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly
Churkin said, adding that they sought to “fan the flames” of violence.