News / USA

Russia, China Defend Syria Resolution Veto, US Calls Move 'Travesty'

Hundreds of Syrians living in Turkey and human right activists shout anti-Assad slogans as they stage a protest outside the Syrian consulate to condemn the latest killings by Syrian regime in Syria, in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012.
Hundreds of Syrians living in Turkey and human right activists shout anti-Assad slogans as they stage a protest outside the Syrian consulate to condemn the latest killings by Syrian regime in Syria, in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012.

Russia and China are defending their veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have endorsed an Arab League plan for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to transfer power to a deputy to help end Syria's months-long unrest.

The Russian government said Sunday it vetoed the Western and Arab-backed resolution the previous day because of what it viewed as "ultimatum-like" demands for the removal of Mr. Assad, Moscow's only military ally in the Middle East.  Moscow accused the resolution's supporters of lacking the "political will" to reach an international agreement on resolving the Syrian crisis. Thirteen of the Security Council's 15 members voted in favor of the draft.

Moscow also said its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and spy agency chief Mikhail Fradkov will travel to Syria on Tuesday to call on President Assad to "rapidly" implement democratic reforms to stabilize the situation. Syria's 11-month opposition uprising against Mr. Assad's autocratic rule has escalated into open conflict between rebels and pro-Assad forces in recent months after a deadly government crackdown on peaceful protesters.

A commentary published by the Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, said Beijing vetoed the resolution to oppose what it perceived as an effort to promote "regime change" in Syria through "external force" in violation of international norms.   It said China believes the international community should promote dialogue in Syria and "respect the ability of the Syrian people to resolve the crisis by themselves."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced the double veto as a "travesty" while on a visit to the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. She said the United States will work with its allies outside the United Nations to tighten "regional and national" sanctions on Syria and "dry up sources of funding and arms shipments" that keep the Assad government's "war machine going," as she put it.

Clinton also called for "friends of a democratic Syria" to coordinate assistance to the Syrian opposition and support what she said is the Syrian people's right to have a better future.  She gave no details about which nations might join the effort or what specific steps they might take.

The head of the main opposition Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun, called the double veto "a new license to kill ... for Bashar al-Assad and his criminal regime."

Syrian rights activists said fighting between pro-Assad troops and loosely-organized rebels killed at least 56 people across Syria on Sunday, about half of them civilians. The activists reported more shelling in the central city of Homs, where they said at least 200 people were massacred in a government bombardment late Friday into Saturday in what appeared to be one of the deadliest incidents of the revolt.

There was no independent confirmation of the casualties as Syria restricts independent reporting in the country.

Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said Sunday the Arab bloc will continue its efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis.  He said the Russian and Chinese veto "does not negate" what he called "clear international support" for the league's plan for a Syrian transition of power.

The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Ja'afari, said the nations backing the vetoed resolution were supporting what he called "armed terrorists" that Damascus blames for the country's unrest.

The double veto sparked protests around the world Sunday.  Anti-Assad activists stormed Russia's embassy in Libya's capital, Tripoli, climbing on the roof and tearing down the flag.  Elsewhere, Turkish police fired tear gas to disperse protesters seeking to storm the Syrian consulate in Istanbul.  In Beirut, hundreds of Syrian opposition activists and Lebanese supporters demonstrated outside the Russian embassy.

In another show of Arab anger toward the Syrian government, Tunisia's prime minister said Sunday his country is cutting ties with Damascus.

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

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid