US terms Russia, China veto in UNSC 'deplorable'

The Obama Administration has condemned the decision of Russia and China to veto the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, saying "those who voted against the resolution are on the wrong side of the history."

world Updated: Jul 20, 2012 11:05 IST

The Obama Administration has condemned the decision of Russia and China to veto the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, saying "those who voted against the resolution are on the wrong side of the history."

The Thursday's resolution sought sanctions against Syrian. However, Russia and China vetoed it, while India was among the 11 countries that voted in favour.

"The decision by a very small minority of the Security Council to veto this action is deplorable and regrettable," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday traveling with him on Air Force One to Florida.

"We need to come together behind a simple proposition that the Syrian President is waging a brutal, murderous campaign against his own people and that we need to come together to do everything we can to bring about a future in Syria that does not include Bashar al-Assad," he said.

"Those who vetoed the measure -- those nations that vetoed the measure are on the wrong side of history. They're on the wrong side of the Syrian people," Carney said.

"We find it highly unfortunate, because it is absurd to send forth unarmed UN observers in the face of the brutality of the Assad regime if the consequences of failing to live up to their commitments, of the Assad regime's commitments, are non-existent. There have to be consequences," he said.

"The purpose of the resolution was to provide a mechanism that would have allowed for consequences through sanctions. Again, we find it very regrettable," Carney said.

A State Department official said the US is going to remain focused on all elements of its national security strategy in terms of keeping the pressure on the Assad regime.

Meanwhile the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called Russia and China's veto of a UN Security Council Resolution on Syria "irresponsible and willful obstruction", saying the two countries "are preventing the international community from fulfilling their responsibility to maintain international peace and security."

The resolution was introduced by Britain, and gives President Bashar al-Assad ten days to implement the Kofi Annan-mediated peace plan, which the Syrian leader has already officially accepted.

Should Syria fail to take this step, the resolution calls for the imposition of economic sanctions.

"This marks the third time that Russia and China have blocked Security Council action aimed at stopping the bloodshed in Syria," said Abraham H Foxman, ADL national director.

Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Russia and China's veto of the Syria resolution is as surreal as it is dangerous.

"As Rome burns, they're worried about saving Nero. Bashar al-Assad and his supporters need to hear unequivocally from the international community that they are losing," he said.

"They cannot be thrown a lifeline by hold-outs at the UN or allowed to cling to the illusion that they can grind and butcher their way to a stalemate. The sooner they get the message, the sooner efforts to stop the bloodshed and effect a peaceful and orderly transition can take hold," Kerry said.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, told the CBS news that the end game of the Assad regime has started.

"The end game is starting, because with the increasing pace of defections, both military and civilian, with the fighting moving into and around Damascus, with the violence increasing, with the pressure mounting on the Assad regime, it’s only a matter of time," she said.

"I wish it were sooner instead of later, because every day that goes by more innocent people are killed. But there's no doubt in my mind that this regime is at the beginning of what will be a painful end, unless they cooperate with the international community to assist in a managed transition that keeps the institutions of the Syrian state intact, which ceases the violence, saves lives, and moves to a transition that will lead to elections and a new future for the Syrian people," Clinton said.

First Published: Jul 20, 2012 11:03 IST