Lack of unity in UNSC over Syria disappoints Annan

This is the third time in about nine months that Russia and China have vetoed a UNSC resolution.

New York: International envoy Kofi Annan on Thursday expressed disappointment at the UN Security Council failure to unite and take concerted action to stop the escalating violence in Syria after a resolution on the crisis was vetoed by permanent members Russia and China.

The resolution, proposed by France, Germany, UK and the US would have threatened sanctions against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if his authorities did not stop using heavy weapons against civilians and withdrew troops from towns and cities within 10 days.

The resolution received 11 votes in favour, including by India while Pakistan and South Africa abstained.

This is the third time in about nine months that Russia and China have vetoed a UNSC resolution that would have imposed sanctions on the Assad regime.

A statement by Annan`s spokesperson said the UN-Arab League envoy is "disappointed that at this critical stage the UN Security Council could not unite and take the strong and concerted action he had urged and hoped for”.

"He believes that the voice of the Council is much more powerful when its Members act as one."

UK`s Permanent Representative to the UN Mark Lyall Grant said Britain was "appalled" by the decision of Russia and China to veto the draft resolution which aimed at bringing an end to the bloodshed in Syria and to create the conditions for a meaningful political process.

"By exercising their veto today, Russia and China are failing in their responsibilities as permanent members of the Security Council to help resolve the crisis in Syria.”

"They are failing the people of Syria. They have - for the third time - blocked an attempt by the majority of this Council, supported by most of the international community, to try a new approach," Grant said.

He said the consequence of their decision is "obvious, further bloodshed, and the likelihood of descent into all-out civil war”.

Grant blamed Moscow and Beijing for protecting a "brutal" regime and choosing to put their national interests ahead of the lives of millions of Syrians.

US` Envoy to the US Susan Rice said while the first two vetoes by Russia and China were "very destructive" and the third vote against the resolution is "even more dangerous and deplorable”.

"Their position is at odds with majority of UNSC, Arab League, over 100 countries, and aspirations of Syrians, who deserve much better. The US has not and will not pin its policy on unarmed observer mission deployed in midst of violence that can`t count on minimal UNSC support," she said.

India also termed as "regrettable" that the Security Council was not able to adopt the resolution and send a joint message that was sought by Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan.