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UN Chief Condemns Syria Resolution Veto


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)

Vetoes by Russia and China of a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria condemning President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on his people and calling for him to step down have drawn outrage from around the world.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the failure to pass the resolution, saying the Security Council "lost an opportunity to take unified action" to help end the crisis. The 13 remaining Security Council members voted in favor, including the United States, France and Germany.

Tunisia's prime minister said Sunday his country is cutting ties with Syria. Hamadi Jebali said Tunisia is expelling Syria's ambassador, and he urged other Arab nations to do the same.

After the Council vote Saturday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said Washington was "disgusted" with vetoes by Russia and China. However, she said the U.S. will not give up on Syria.

British ambassador to the U.N. Mark Lyall Grant said Russia and China have turned their backs on the Arab world to support tyranny.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari accused members of the United Nations of supporting what he called "armed terrorists."

Russia has defended its decision, saying members of the Council have been undermining the opportunity for political settlement by calling for a regime change, and pushing the opposition towards power.

Chinese Ambassador Wang Min said Beijing supports Moscow's stance on the resolution, and called for more discussions on the divisive parts of the paper.

On the ground in Syria Sunday, there are some reports of clashes between Syrian soldiers and rebels in Idlib province, near the border with Turkey.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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