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Canada slams China, Russia for UN Syria vetoes

20 july 2012, 14:58
0
Canadian Foreign Minister John Russell Baird. ©AFP
Canadian Foreign Minister John Russell Baird. ©AFP
Canada issued a scathing retort on Thursday after Russia and China vetoed another UN resolution to pressure the Syrian regime to rein in its crackdown on a 16-month-old rebellion, AFP reports.

"It is with extreme disappointment and deep regret that the world witnessed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) fail the people of Syria yet again today," Foreign Minister John Baird said.

Russia and China blocked UN action against Syria for the third time in nine months, triggering outrage by Western powers intent on heaping more pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

"The Security Council had the opportunity to finally do the right thing to enforce a plan through binding sanctions that would have sent a clear message to Assad and those backing him," Baird said.

"Russia and China chose the status quo... They failed to act in the most vulnerable hour for the Syrian people," Baird said.

Washington also expressed frustration with Moscow and Beijing on Thursday, with US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice saying the Security Council had failed on Syria.

Rice promised Washington would intensify its work outside the 15-member body to step up pressure on Damascus.

The revolt against the Assad regime, which began as a series of anti-regime protests, has become increasingly militarized in recent months, with over 17,000 people killed since March 2011, according to anti-regime activists.

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