Russia and China have vetoed a Western-backed United Nations Security Council resolution threatening military action and sanctions against Syria.
On Tuesday, nine countries voted for the text drawn up by France, Britain, Germany and Portugal, but Russia and China voted against, killing the resolution because of their veto power as permanent members of Security Council, AFP reported.
South Africa, India, Brazil and Lebanon abstained, despite weeks of relentless efforts by the Western states to convince them vote in favor the motion.
Syria has been experiencing unrest in the past months, with demonstrations held both against and in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Hundreds of people, including security forces, have been killed during clashes in the country since the beginning of the unrest in mid-March.
Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said the Western-backed resolution was based on a philosophy of confrontation, adding, the threat of sanctions, which the text of the resolution put as “targeted measures,” is not acceptable.
Churkin questioned why there was no emphasis on the opposition-generated violence in the text of the resolution.
The Russian ambassador stated that Moscow would not let a resolution get through the Security Council that could be used as a pretext for military action against Syria.
“It is a conflict of political approaches,” added Churkin, who advocated for a rival Russian text which calls for dialogue but makes no mention of potential action.
Chinese ambassador to the UN, Li Baodong, spoke in favor of the Russian draft and stated that the Syrian issue must be addressed through a process of dialogue.
Since July 2008, it is the first double Russian-Chinese veto at the Security Council.
US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said Washington was furious that the Security Council could not approve the resolution condemning Syria.
Damascus says the unrest in Syria is being orchestrated by foreign powers and that the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.
Syria state TV has also broadcast reports and images of seizure of arms caches and confessions by alleged terrorists, who point out that how they obtained weapons from the foreign sources.
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