Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Russia and China veto Syria move

William Hague has expressed his disappointment over Russia and China's decision to veto a UN Security Council resolution threatening sanctions against violence-torn Syria.

The Foreign Secretary said their refusal to back the threat of action against President Bashar Assad's military crackdown would be seen "as a decision to side with a brutal regime rather than with the people of Syria".

Russia and China blocked the resolution despite three attempts by European members of the Security Council to water down the language of the sanctions.

Speaking following last night's vote in New York, Mr Hague said: "I am of course disappointed by Russia and China's decision to veto the UNSCR.

"This will be seen in the region as a decision to side with a brutal regime rather than with the people of Syria, and will be a bitter blow to all those Syrians who have implored the international community to take a stand."

Mr Hague said the resolution, which was tabled by the UK along with France, Germany and Portugal, was "carefully drafted and entirely reasonable" and that those who blocked it would have the "horrific abuses" of the Syrian regime on their conscience.

He added: "It took account of the need for all sides to reject violence, stressed that a political transition should be Syrian-led and was explicit that Security Council consideration of sanctions against Syria should not include military action.

Mr Hague vowed to continue "to stand side by side with the Syrian people" and said Britain would "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."

The Security Council vote was 9-2 with four abstentions - India, South Africa, Brazil and Lebanon.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said his country did not support President Assad's regime or the violence, but opposed the resolution because it was "based on a philosophy of confrontation," contained "an ultimatum of sanctions," and was against a peaceful settlement of a crisis.


From Belfast Telegraph