Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dismissed the West’s criticism of his country’s veto of a recent UN resolution against Syria. Lavorv’s comments came in response to the remarks of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who criticized Russia and China for vetoing the anti-Syria resolution and accused them of killing it.
The veto resulted in the rejection of the resolution at the UN Security Council meeting on Friday. The western-backed draft resolution endorsed an Arab call on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to resign.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Saeb Shaath, an author and a Middle East affairs expert from Belfast, to talk about the reasons behind Russia and China’s opposition to a UN resolution on Syria.
The video offers the opinions of two additional guests: Dmitry Babich, the chief editor of Russia’s Profile Magazine, and Daoud Khairallah who is professor of law at Georgetown University.
What follows is a transcription of the interview:
Press TV: The US has accused right now those who vetoed the resolution, in their words, of having blood on their hands, as we were hearing in that report, and this has caused some to question that the US itself vetoing of course a UN Security Council Resolution, for instance, against or critical of Israel, but how do you see Washington’s reaction to China and Russia’s veto power here?
Shaath: If anybody have bloods in their hands will be the United State of America and its alliance in Syria. They are the one who arm and open routes to foreign insurgents to go in Syria and wreak havoc. The United States of America, They vetoed roughly 60 resolutions to deal with the Palestinians and the Arab world.
They denied the Palestinians from the mid-40s up until today any chance of decent life. We remember the slaughter in Gaza; we remember what they have done; we remember the whole issue of wording resolution and that is what I warned about days before the vetoing of this resolution.
I said myself I would love to see China and Russia to block any resolution not to get engaged in re-amending and sorting or drafting a new resolution since the West has the habit of finding a coma or an apostrophe in any resolution as a way to get in and to find loopholes in it and to carry on anything they want. And that is why I warned.
Veto should be applied in any resolutions come to Syria. They used the Arab League in here since there is a norm or tradition in the United Nations when there is a regional body [who] brings a regional issue to the United Nations Security Council, it will go, passing it quick and they thought passing the Arab League to bring Syria issue this way, they will corner the Chinese and the Russians, they will not veto it.
So what surprised them, Russia was serious and China determined not to let any resolution go to accusing Syria of such acts which behind it are the United States of America and Israel.
Press TV: Mr Shaath, we remember that the Arab League did send monitors into Syria but then it decided to suspend that observer mission and then it came up with the statement that that observer mission was ineffective and now the only solution for the Syria crisis is for President Bashar al-Assad to resign.
Do you think that is the only solution for Syria? When we are speaking about the two sides in the conflict there, would you be calling –like the UK has done for instance– the Syrian regime or the Assad regime the “murdering” side?
Who is responsible for these deaths and the violence that is taking place?
Shaath: I just want to say three points. First of all, “YouGov poll” which is an organization backed by Qatar done a survey in Syria in December and found out that 55 percent of the people backing Assad regime in there. That is more than what Americans backing Obama twice and that is three times more than what French [are] backing the itching for war ‘Sarkozy’. That is a point. Nobody talks about that. So the majority of the Syrians from an independent Qatari poll are with Assad.
The second, the Arab League monitors’ report was saying and confirming what is the Syrian government saying and that is why they did not want to use it in the United Nations and they froze that mission and General Dabi’s, himself, report is online; you can have a look and see it. They confirm the stand of the Syrian government.
The third point here: Syria found itself in huge geopolitical game. It is the key. They are trying to attack Iran right now, but they cannot since the geopolitical status quo right now would guarantee [that] Israel will be smashed if it tries to attack Iran. The key to Iran will be through unsettling Syria, through destroying Syria.
Then after Iran, they can go and surround China and Russia. That is to impose the United States domination in the Middle East and thus toward world domination. So they can control the wealth of Iran, loot it and destroy any resistance to the American hegemonic program in the Middle East. That is where Syria is.
Syria is vital the stability, national security of Iran, Russia and China and that is why it is very important war game they are playing. And it is going to get worse since Obama said himself, he and his allies, are going to redouble their efforts to unsettle Assad in Syria.