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Veto meets mixed reactions in Syria

Updated: 2012-02-05 09:18
( Xinhua)

DAMASCUS - Russia and China on Saturday vetoed an Arab-European draft resolution on Syria for a second time since October 2011, a move which was seen by some political observers in Syria as a new invitation for dialogue but was deemed as "wrong" by some opponent figures.

The Arab-European draft resolution came in accordance with an Arab League (AL) plan which demands a government change in unrest- hit Syria. The draft resolution, tabled by Morocco and backed by the United States and some European powers, received 13 votes in favor.

Taleb Ibrahim, a Syrian political analyst, said that the double veto would usher in a new balance of global power. He said that " the UN will no longer be a tool in the hands of the United States and its allies to pass their military schemes."

The veto would be conducive to restoring peace and stability in Syria and would also save the lives of Syrians, Ibrahim said.

George Gabbour, another analyst, considered the double veto as "a new invitation for all Syrian parties to embark on a dialogue, which is the best solution to the current crisis."

He told Xinhua that "those who reject the dialogue want nothing but more violence and bloodshed."

However, different voices emerged. "This is wrong so long as the draft resolution didn't include any item that would allow foreign military intervention in Syria," Hasan Abdul-Azim, head of the opposition National Coordination Committee, told Xinhua by phone.

"This veto could be explained as a biased stance in favor of the Syrian regime against the Syrian people's demands of freedom and justice," he said.

Another opponent, Loai Hussain, head of the "Building Syria State" party, called the Chinese-Russian veto "unwarranted," suggesting that it came as part of Russia's conflict with the West.

But Hussain also confessed that the Syrian opposition is "fractured," pointing out that the opposition should unify its efforts and conclude a road map to deal with the current administration and prepare for a new transitional phase.

In the UN Security Council on Saturday, Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that he vetoed the Arab-European draft resolution as "it sends an unbalanced signal to Syria." He called for an "objective" UN resolution which could "truly help" end the current political crisis in the Middle East country.

For his part, Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the UN, expressed Beijing's regrets that Moscow's "reasonable" revision proposal on a Syria draft resolution was not taken into account.

"To push through a vote when parties are still seriously divided over the issue will not help maintain the unity and authority of the Security Council, or help resolve the issue," Li said.

Ambassadors of the 15 UN Security Council members met behind closed doors on Saturday morning for an unusual weekend session to consider the Arab-European draft resolution, which backs an AL plan to promote political transition in Syria. The draft was jointly drawn up by Arab states, Britain, France and Germany.

Last Thursday, at the end of the four-hour hard negotiations at the council behind closed doors, sponsors of the draft dropped a specific reference to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's ceding of power.

Russia and China staged double veto on October 4, 2011, against a European draft resolution, which meant to strongly condemn "the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities" and threatened punitive measures against the country.