Russia, China veto UN-SC resolution on Syria
By SaebPress - Sat Feb 04, 6:40 pm
New York, United Nations, SaebPress_ Russia and China vetoed on Saturday a Western- Arab League UN Security Council resolution on Syria.
Earlier, the UN Security Council held a session in New York to vote on a Western- Arab League draft resolution about Syria, calling on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step aside.
The resolution, discussed in a special Security Council meeting, had the backing of most European countries and Arab friends.
In a blunt warning to Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday that if the resolution is put to a vote without taking Russia’s opinion into account it will only lead to “another scandal” at the Security Council.
Lavrov said at a security conference in Munich that Moscow still sees two problems of “crucial importance” with the draft resolution on the violence in Syria. Western countries have been working to head off a possible Russian veto if the resolution goes to a vote.
Moscow said before the vote that the resolution was not “hopeless”, but its wording needed to be altered to avoid “taking sides in a civil war”. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was still possible to reach consensus.
But US Ambassador Rice said amendments that Russia had proposed were “unacceptable”.
After what US officials called “vigorous” talks between Clinton and Lavrov, Moscow announced that its foreign minister would fly to Syria in three days to meet Assad.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday stressed that the Western-backed draft resolution on Syria does not suit Russia at all.
In a speech before Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Lavrov said that the draft resolution in question condemns the acts of the Syrian government more than it does the acts of the opposition, and places demands on the Syrian authorities without a mention of such demands on the opposition.
He added that the resolution proposes on the one side that the Syrians start unconditioned negotiations, and on the other demands that this dialogue take place according to a schedule set by the Arab League. Lavrov added that the amended Western resolution doesn’t include the items to which Russia objected, especially that it does not mention imposing sanctions and clearly states the illegitimacy of military intervention.
He added that the international community is not entitled to interfere for settling internal disputes except under the 7th article of the UN Charter. Lavrov said that taking sides in internal conflicts and attempts for imposing plans is a dangerous approach that leads to broadening the scope of instability and intensifies chaos in international relations. Lavrov, in an interview with Russia TV, said that he sent Russia’s suggested amendments to the draft resolution to the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
The Russian Foreign Minister added “There can be no doubt about the sense and the objectivity of these amendments,” hoping that the common sense will prevail over prejudice.
In the same context, Lavrov discussed with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi the Western-Arab draft resolution submitted to the Security Council about Syria.
A statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry said that a phone call was made between the foreign Ministers of Russia and China in which they highly evaluated the high-level cooperation between their countries at the Security Council.
The two ministers expressed the need for an immediate end of violence in Syria and staring internal political dialogue.
Both sides agreed to continue coordination and consultations on the Syrian issue at the Security Council with the aim of reaching a balanced text for a draft resolution that opens the way for a political settlement for the crisis in Syria.
Syrian Statement At UN Security Council After Veto