US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Lancaster House in London on February 23, 2012
Source: Press TV
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accused Russia and China of supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for commercial reasons.
"The pressure will build on countries like Russia and China because world opinion is not going to stand idly by," Clinton told reporters in London on Thursday.
Referring directly to Moscow and Beijing, she added, "Arab opinion is not going to be satisfied watching two nations, one for commercial reasons one for commercial and ideological reasons, bolstering a regime that is defying every rule of modern international norms."
Earlier in February, the two countries vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria, which called on Assad to resign and hand over the power to opposition leaders.
The two had also vetoed a similar resolution against Syria in October.
"There will be increasingly capable opposition forces. They will from somewhere, somehow, find the means to defend themselves as well as begin offensive measures," Clinton said.
She also said confidently that she would bet against the Syrian president. "If I were a betting person for the medium term and certainly the long term, I would be betting against Assad."
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Hundreds of people, including many Syrian security forces, have been killed in the course of the turmoil.
Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.
The West and the Syrian opposition, however, accuse the government of killing protesters.
Moscow has asserted that the unrest should be resolved through negotiation between Damascus and the Syrian opposition. Beijing has also declared that it maintains an unbiased position on the situation in Syria and is trying to resolve the issue through dialog with all the involved parties.
However, more than 70 nations and international groups are expected to gather in the Tunisian capital Tunis on Friday to discuss arming the opposition in the Arab state.