US may bypass UN over Syria after Russian ‘veto’ stand

  • PTI, Washingtonp
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 29, 2013 09:53 IST

Russia’s decision to veto any move towards armed intervention in Syria may make the US bypass the UN Security Council course. A strong indication to this effect was given by US state department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf soon after the the face-off in the UN Security Council meeting.

Expressing disappointment over the Russian decision to veto any move towards armed intervention in Syria, the United States has said that there is "no point" in going forward in the UN Security Council.

"We see no avenue forward given continued Russian opposition to any meaningful council action on Syria. Therefore, the United States will continue its consultations and will take appropriate actions to respond in the days ahead," Harf told reporters at her press conference on Wednesday.

Referring to the resolution moved by Britain on Syria at the UN headquarters in New York, Harf expressed America's disappointment on the stand taken by Russia on this issue.

"My understanding is that we heard nothing different from the Russians in today's meeting than we have for months and, indeed, years about Syria," she said.

"Last week, the Russians blocked a potential press statement condemning the attack without even assigning culpability. So we have no reason to believe that efforts at the Security Council would be any different than these previous efforts that have failed," she argued, throwing up a strong indication that that the US and its allies are gearing up to bypass the UN Security Council in this regard.

However, in Geneva, the joint special representative of the UN and the League of Arab States for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said that the international law is clear on military strikes.

"The international law says that the military action must be taken after a decision by the Security Council. What will happen, then again, I don’t know," he said.   

Harf said the US had consistently said that it supported the UN Security Council action. 

"Instead, what we've seen - not just today, not just last week, but over the course of many months. Are the Russians at every move doing things to fail to hold the Syrian regime accountable," she asked.

"They’ve had three resolutions vetoed. They’ve blocked many other statements condemning the Syrian regime. So we do not believe that the Syrian regime should not be able to hide behind the fact that the Russians continue to block action on Syria at the UN, and we will make our decisions on appropriate action going forward, and we will stay in close consultation with the United Nations, with the Secretary General, with our partners on the P-5 and around the world," she said.

The United Nations, she said, is an important venue. "In terms of a vote, we don’t see an avenue going forward with a vote given continued Russian opposition," Harf said.

The US, she said, believes that it's important to send a strong message that this type of mass-scale, indiscriminate use of chemical weapons is not acceptable.


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