Russia, China Block UN Vote on Syria Regime Change

By:  Alex Newman
02/06/2012
       
Russia, China Block UN Vote on Syria Regime Change

The governments of China and Russia blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad to hand over power, sparking outrage among Western and Arab leaders supposedly concerned about a bloody conflict that has already claimed thousands of lives. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded to the UN vetoes by vowing to redouble the Obama administration’s efforts to take down the regime.

 

The governments of China and Russia blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad to hand over power, sparking outrage among Western and Arab leaders supposedly concerned about a bloody conflict that has already claimed thousands of lives. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded to the UN vetoes by vowing to redouble the Obama administration’s efforts to take down the regime.

The UN resolution in question called on Assad to step down and transfer power to his vice president as the nation moved toward “democracy.” If the regime refused to cooperate, the language threatened Syria with “further measures.”
 
But the Russian and Chinese governments — both of which used their Security Council vetoes to scuttle the plan despite its support from the 13 other member governments on the council — said the resolution was “biased” against the Assad regime. Russia also accused Western leaders of undermining a meaningful peace process and said the UN should not interfere in the internal affairs of member states.
 
The Russian government, which has an important naval base in Syria and continues to sell the country weapons, considers the Assad regime a key strategic ally. As such, it has vocally opposed any more foreign military intervention in the region — especially in the wake of NATO’s devastating war on Libya, instigated using a UN resolution, that left tens of thousands dead, a questionable regime in power, and heavy weaponry in the hands of terrorists.

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Photo: Russian representative Vitaly Churkin leaves the podium after speaking to reporters following a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at U.N. headquarters, Feb. 4, 2012: AP Images

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