Friday, July 20, 2012

Syria: China And Russia Reject Western CriticismOn Syria.

Updated 11:40am: Chinese state media and Russia on Friday rejected Western criticism after the two powers blocked a UN resolution that would have opened the door for military action.

A top Chinese newspaper accused the West of seeking a green light for military intervention in Syria, while Russia slammed Western criticism as "unacceptable".

"Frankly speaking, Western countries attempted to push the United Nations to vote for the sanction resolution in order to get the green light for their military intervention," said the People's Daily, mouthpiece of the ruling Communist party.

The paper's comments echoed those of Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who said the resolution aimed to "open the path to the pressure of sanctions and further to external military involvement in Syrian domestic affairs."

In another commentary, Xinhua – China's official news agency – said the draft was not balanced, and that Western diplomats "displayed arrogance and inflexibility" in negotiations, effectively killing the draft.

"Western diplomats rushed to point fingers at Russia and China after the resolution was defeated, but they have only themselves to blame for trying to force such an ill-considered draft through the Council," it said.

Russia also rebuked the West for blaming Moscow for the worsening situation in Syria.
"It is absolutely unacceptable that some Western countries are trying to lay the blame for the escalating Syrian violence on Russia's refusal to support a resolution threatening sanctions against the authorities," foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.
It was the third time in nine months that Russia and China wielded their veto power. As two of the five permanent members of the 15-nation council, the two countries can block any UN resolution.

The veto drew swift criticism from the West, although the move had been expected.
Britain was "appalled" by the vetoes, said the country's UN envoy Mark Lyall Grant, while US President Barack Obama's spokesman Jay Carney said the vetoes were "highly regrettable" and called it a "mistake to prop up that regime".

World powers have so far failed to secure international action to halt the conflict in Syria, part of a series of revolts in the Arab world that have seen changes of government in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

Analysts say Russia and China's objections may stem from its discomfort with Western military action after last year's uprising in Libya, which eventually led to the fall of leader Muammar Gaddafi.

China consistently opposed military action in Libya within the 15-member Security Council, but did not use its veto to block the March 2011 resolution authorizing the operation, instead abstaining in the vote.

But it, along with Russia, believes the West misinterpreted the resolution and went too far.
The two powers fear Western attempts to exploit the Syrian crisis to further their interests.

Russia backs UN mission extension

Russia also said Friday it backed an unconditional 45-day extension of the UN monitors mission in Syria proposed by Pakistan, rather than Britain's idea to add 30 days to their mandate one last time.

"We will support it since we were involved in drawing up (the draft resolution) together with our Pakistani colleagues," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said.

The West and Russia have traded accusations that each is undermining peace efforts by backing opposing parties in the crisis.

Moscow has stood behind Assad, while Western powers have thrown their backing behind pro-Western and Islamist opposition groups, raising fears of a Cold War-style proxy war between Moscow and Washington.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar, Reuters)