Sunday, February 5, 2012

Syria: Russia blames West over resolution veto

"The authors of the draft Syria resolution, unfortunately, did not want to undertake an extra effort and come to a consensus," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov wrote on Twitter after Russia and China's use of their veto sparked outrage.

"The result is known."

On Saturday, the two powers' refusal to back an Arab League plan for Syria came despite the vote coming within hours of the worst single act of violence in the 11-month uprising.

Days of tortuous negotiations led to a final act of brinkmanship as Russia said it could not support a resolution backing an Arab League plan for a swift transition of power and elections.

It was said to have demanded a last-minute change dropping a call, already agreed by Syria in November, for tanks and artillery to be withdrawn from the streets.

That was rejected outright by Western governments after residents of Homs reported an extraordinary bombardment overnight by mortars and heavy artillery, shattering houses and sending the injured and dying flooding to hospitals and makeshift clinics. At least 200 were killed, with some activists giving figures as high as 330. Read More