News / Middle East

Clinton: Russia, China Blocking Progress on Syria 'Intolerable'

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at Paris talks on Syria Jun 6, 2012
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at Paris talks on Syria Jun 6, 2012
PARIS — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it is "intolerable" that Russia and China continue to block a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Syria by backing President Bashar al-Assad.  Secretary Clinton told a Paris meeting of governments supporting Assad opponents that the United Nations should impose economic sanctions against Damascus.

Secretary Clinton says it is not enough for the so-called Friends of the Syrian People to support Assad opponents when Russia and China are "holding up progress."

"I ask you to reach out to Russia and China and to not only urge, but demand that they get off the sidelines and begin to support the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people," Clinton said.  "It is frankly not enough just to come to the Friends of the Syrian People because I will tell you very frankly, I don't think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all, nothing at all, for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime."

Russia and China have repeatedly vetoed tougher U.N. Security Council action against Syria. But they have agreed to the authority of an eventual transitional governing body for the country, something that Secretary Clinton says should be part of a new resolution demanding implementation of a U.N./Arab League peace plan.

"We now have them on record supporting a transition," Clinton added.  "And we should go back and ask for a resolution in the Security Council that imposes real and immediate consequences for non-compliance, including sanctions under Chapter 7."



Senior U.S. officials traveling with Secretary Clinton say that Chapter 7 resolution will not include U.N. troops, but will focus instead on unified international economic sanctions. Past enthusiasm for a weapons embargo is waning amid questions about enforcing compliance by Russian and Iran as well as concern about its potential impact on the armed opposition.

Russia and China are not part of these talks in Paris, which include representatives from nearly 100 countries, including some 40 foreign ministers.

Since Russia and China agreed to the authorities of a transitional government at a meeting in Geneva last week, there have been conflicting interpretations about whether that deal means President Assad must give up power.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the Geneva agreement imposes nothing on the Syrian people as it puts no preconditions on national dialogue and excludes no one from the process.

Speaking in Paris Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said President Assad and some of the countries who met in Geneva are mistakenly interpreting his future.

"Transition involves change," said Davutoglu.  "Why do we need a transition government? We need a transition government because the existing government is not legitimate, is not efficient to control the country and to lead a transitional process."

Davutoglu says delaying the process increases the danger and allows the Assad government to kill more people.

The United Nations says there are more than one million Syrians in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Reading a statement from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, assistant secretary general for political affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco says the Syrian conflict is at a critical stage.

"Killings, abductions, and kidnappings have also become increasingly inter-communal, threatening to erode the very fabric of Syrian society," noted Fernandez-Taranco.  "A sectarian civil war in Syria would be devastating for Syria and for the region."

The head of the U.N. monitoring mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, says violence has reached "unprecedented" levels and there must a cease-fire before unarmed observer teams can resume their mission.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: NoT
July 27, 2012 10:23 AM
I'm still trying to wrap my thinking how China, the most arbitrary, most brutal, most murderous human rights abusing regime in modern history has a permanent on the UN Security Council? China needs to clean up its policies toward its own people and the countries it is occupying .. before being given such an international honor. Shame on the entire world for continuing to kowtow to the Communist China Party's increasingly aggressive and coercive tactics to assert itself on the global stage. Why is the world not boycotting all goods made in China?

by: dirk diggler from: home
July 11, 2012 8:00 PM
Listen we can either continue to shove our policy's down the worlds throat and wait for russi to attack or we can ef Russia up with a first strike and go about business

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 07, 2012 1:10 PM
This is a decisive poll by all standard. There are two sides to the conflict and no one should be right by taking side because there are people on all sides who will be affected by whatever decision made. I insist the best option is give Assad chance to the transit his government and conduct an election with UN and other international observers in attendance. Any other way is express victory for the extremist trending Arab Spring.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 07, 2012 8:38 AM
What is going on in Syria is like electioneering campaign. The friends of Syrian opposition are on one side while Syria is on the other with Russia, China and Iran. Inside Syria the division is even, though both sides are speaking from the nozzles of the gun at the moment, and the noise of the shootings deafen everyone even to the point of blanking out the reason. Usually the voice of opposition is louder, and because they are the ones crying out foul, the position of the those that might become marginalized if Assad goes, which is the moment muffled and confused, may become more deafening if the madness of the Arab Spring is allowed to catch up with Syria. The orderly thing to do here should be to allow Assad enough time to transit power and organize election for the people.

by: Aristide Caratzas from: Scarsdale, NY
July 07, 2012 5:37 AM
The posture by Mrs. Clinton (and US policy re Syria) boggle the mind: the US has become the hireling of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other "democracies" to topple the secular (and clearly not democratic) Assad regime. In the process, the Sunni Muslim forces driving this policy have made their intentions clear, i.e. to destroy the Christians, Alawites and the other minorities of Syria.

In other words, Mrs. Clinton is promoting the destruction of the ancient Christian community of Syria. In case the point is lost, the Christian community of Homs was already ethnically cleansed by the "New Syrian Army," hundreds have been tortured and killed, churches defiled and 50,000 have been forced to leave their homes. That's one for "democracy" in the style of the Clinton Foundation, generously backed by the aforementioned Saudis and other "democratic" allies...

by: Outsider
July 07, 2012 3:25 AM
Hillary Clinton has the courage and foresight to speak out where others have taken a "backseat" and allowed the situation to deteriorate even further ,at the expense of human lives.

by: Mike
July 06, 2012 10:07 PM
To:steve from: seekonk, ma. Where are you from? From Putin's Russia or North Korea? There would have been easy to "shoots off mouth" to other people who express their opinions. Hillary is doing everything correctly. She understands that dictators, no matter where they are in Russia or Syria, understand only the language of force.

by: Jack from: China
July 06, 2012 9:26 PM
All nations supported anti-Assad arms should not anchor their hope on Russia and China,cos they will try whatever they could to block the democratic progress for Syria people.What all nations of justice and those should lounch a plan to recurit the voluntary army enter Syira to support and fight with Assad' military secretively.

by: carlos from: venezuela
July 06, 2012 3:47 PM
look to Christ, the end is near

by: Mike
July 06, 2012 2:54 PM
Hillary Clinton should stop empty talks with Russia and China. These two countries are not democracies, and will always oppose the policies of the West and the U.S.. Romney was right when he described Russia as an enemy of the United States. So it's time to use force against the Assad regime, and do not care about the interests of Russia.
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 07, 2012 9:48 AM
Each country represents its own interest. US think more of its interst in middle east than the named "democracy"!!!
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 06, 2012 10:52 PM
I do not think the U.S. is always right. I prefer discussing instead of simply violence to deal with this issue.
In Response

by: AntiWarMonger
July 06, 2012 5:30 PM
"Russia and China continue to block a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Syria ". Do Americans understand what "peaceful" mean? We all see how "peaceful" it was with Iraq war and Arab Spring. Are you sure you won't create another Egypt?
In Response

by: steve from: seekonk, ma.
July 06, 2012 5:04 PM
hilary shoots off her mouth about other countries. it appears to me she has been riding the wrong horse when it comes to the middle east. six months to go. then your out. many americans will jump for joy when you leave.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs