Saturday, February 4, 2012

Russia, China block anti-Syria resolution

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN envoy

Source: Press TV

Russia and China have blocked the UN draft resolution on Syria which calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign and hand over power to opposition leaders.

Russia and China are the only veto-wielding powers on the Security Council who rejected the anti-Syria resolution endorsed by the Arab League. The two countries had also vetoed a similar resolution against Syria in October.

Russia's deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov had earlier said Russia would not bargain with the West over the draft resolution on Syria.

“It is not part of our political practice to trade our principles,” Gatilov stated.

Russia also opposes Western sanctions on Syria. Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN envoy says the “international community” should not meddle in Syria's domestic conflict and that sanctions could risk heating up the conflict.

“Moscow rejects any sanction approaches, any attempts to use the Security Council instruments to fuel the conflict, to justify a military intervention,” Churkin said. “The Council cannot dictate parameters for an internal political settlement; it has no authority for it.”

The Chinese held a similar position and told the UN that further sanctions would worsen Syria's situation, despite conceding that the Syrian people's demand for reform must be respected.

Advocates of the resolution believe it will end months of deadly violence in Syria.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March. Many people have lost their lives in the country over the past ten months. Damascus says over 2,000 security forces have been killed in the unrest.

The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters. But Damascus blames ''outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups'' for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

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