Syria hails ‘historic’ Russia, China vetoes | Pakistan Today

Syria hails ‘historic’ Russia, China vetoes

A senior aide to Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday hailed as “historic” Russian and Chinese vetoes of a UN resolution against his regime’s deadly crackdown on protests.
“This is a historical day that Russia and China as nations are standing for the people and against injustices,” the presidential adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban, told AFP in Damascus.
“I think that all the Syrians are happy that now there are other powers in the world to stand against hegemony, against military interference in the affairs of countries and people.
“I feel that the veto that Russia and China have used… is a veto that stands with the Syrian people and gives the time for us to enforce and enhance reforms,” she added.
Nine countries voted late Tuesday in favour of the text which had called for “targeted measures” if Assad pursues his clampdown, which the United Nations says has left at least 2,700 people dead.
Russia and China voted against, killing the resolution because of their veto powers as council permanent members.
South Africa, India, Brazil and Lebanon abstained, reaffirming a divide in the 15-member body since NATO launched air strikes in Libya using UN resolutions to justify the action.
The double veto was both condemned and lamented in Western capitals, with the United States saying it was “outraged” and France bemoaning it as a “sad day” for Syria’s people and the Security Council.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed disappointment, saying “those who blocked (the resolution) will have this action on their conscience.”
“This will be seen in the region as a decision to side with a brutal regime rather than with the people of Syria,” Hague said in a statement.
“We will redouble our efforts to work with our international partners to increase the pressure on the regime wherever we can, and assure the people of Syria that they will not be forgotten.”
France’s UN envoy Gerard Araud said the vetoes were a “vote against the Arab Spring.”
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said despite the failure of the resolution, his government would press ahead with its own sanctions against Assad’s regime.
“(The veto) does not constitute an obstacle,” Erdogan said, adding that along with European nations, Turkey will “inevitably impose right now a package of sanctions.”

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