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Saturday, February 4, 2012

China, Russia veto UNSC resolution against Assad

India along with the U.S. and 12 others, backs Arab League move

Russia and China on Saturday vetoed an Arab League-backed resolution at the United Nations Security Council that called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, while India, along with the U.S. and 12 others, backed the move.

France, Britain and Pakistan also voted in favour of the resolution aimed at putting pressure on Syria to end its 11-month crackdown on anti-government protests that have killed more than 200 people in one of the bloodiest episodes of the uprising against the Assad regime.

This is the second time Russia and China have carried out their double veto after the first one on October 5 last.

Ahead of the vote, President Barack Obama blamed the Syrian government for the “unspeakable assault” on its civilians in the city of Homs, as he demanded that Mr. Assad step down.

“I offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones,” Mr. Obama said in Washington. Mr. Assad had “no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community.”

Human Rights Watch condemned the UNSC resolution, terming the Russian and Chinese decision irresponsible and praised India, which so far was seen siding with Moscow and Beijing on this issue, for voting in favour of the failed resolution.

“Vetoes by Russia and China are not only a slap in the face of the Arab League, they are also a betrayal of the Syrian people,” it added.

“In the end, by supporting this resolution, South Africa, India and Pakistan, rose to the occasion. They finally saw through Mr. Assad's lies and sided with the Syrian people,” the rights watchdog said.

HRW said the failure of this resolution should not provide illusory comfort to the Assad government as most countries around the world and in Syria's neighbourhood were repulsed by its “bloody repression campaign.”

“The Russian government is not only unapologetically arming a government that is killing its own people, but also providing it with diplomatic cover,” it alleged.


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