Striking a balance between its Arab world compulsions and long-held position on regime-change, India abstained from a UN general assembly resolution that called for political transition in Syria.
Indian objections to the resolution included reference to an Arab League resolution that openly called for President Assad to step down from power, official sources explained.
The resolution condemned the "use by the Syrian authorities of heavy weapons, including indiscriminate shelling from tanks and helicopters, in population centres and the failure to withdraw its troops and the heavy weapons to their barracks."
It also condemned violence by both sides and urged them to implement Security Council resolutions and end violence.
India had no problem with this part of the resolution.
In his explanation of vote on the resolution, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Puri said the resolution made specific reference to the July 22 resolution of the League of Arab States, which “openly called for President Assad to step down from power and for other UN members to severe diplomatic relations and contacts with Syria”.
"It is unfortunate that this element of the present resolution was not removed and hence we have abstained from the resolution," Puri said.
The resolution found support of 133 members and 31 countries abstained from it. Russia, China, Iran and Cuba were among the dozen countries that voted against the resolution. India has also taken due note of Arab League getting divided on Syria.