UN role is to ease tension in Syria: FM

Updated: 2011-10-06 08:02

(China Daily)

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BEIJING - China said on Wednesday relevant actions taken by the UN Security Council should be conducive to easing the tension in Syria.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu made the remarks after Russia and China, permanent members of the UN Security Council, on Tuesday vetoed a 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 Middle East country.

"We hope relevant actions of the UN Security Council should help ease the tension in Syria, promote political dialogues to defuse differences, and maintain peace and stability in the Middle East," Ma said in a statement.

The draft resolution "put pressure blindly on Syria and threatened sanctions", Ma said. "The draft resolution will not help ease Syria's situation."

The draft resolution, presented by France, Germany, Portugal and Britain, won nine votes in favor, two against and four abstentions. South Africa, India, Brazil and Lebanon, the four non-permanent members of the Security Council, abstained.

Ma said China is always highly concerned with the development of the situation in Syria.

"We call upon all parties concerned in Syria to stop all forms of violence, promote the government to put its commitment of reform into practice, start the Syrian-led inclusive political process as soon as possible, and actively support conciliation efforts of regional countries and organizations," he said.

Syria has been wracked by six months of unrest which it blames on a foreign conspiracy and armed thugs. A recent UN statement put the number of civilians killed during the past six months in Syria at 2,600, while Syria blames on foreign-backed armed gangs who it says have killed 700 security forces personnel.

"Today's refused draft was based on a very different philosophy, the philosophy of confrontation," Vitaly Churkin, the Russian permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council after the vote.

"This approach is against the principle of a peaceful settlement of a crisis on the basis of a full Syrian national dialogue," he said. "Our proposals for wording on then unacceptability of foreign intervention were not taken into account and based on the well-known events in North Africa can only alarm us."

"The international community should provide constructive assistance to facilitate the achievement" of the objectives of the Syrian-led inclusive political process and "in the meantime it should fully respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria", Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, said at the open Security Council meeting after the vote.

"Whether the Security Council will take further action on the question of Syria should depend on whether it facilitates the easing of tension in Syria, whether it helps the defusing of differences through political dialogue, whether it contributes to maintaining peace and security in the Middle East," Li said.

"Most importantly, it should depend on the compliance with the UN Charter and the principle of non-interference," he said.

Bashar al-Ja'afari, the Syrian UN ambassador, told the council that the draft resolution, if adopted, would be a tool to wage foreign intervention of the internal affairs of his country.


(China Daily 10/06/2011 page4)