UN vote on Syria 'very regrettable': Germany

5th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany on Wednesday lamented the failure of the United Nations Security Council to agree a resolution on a bloody crackdown in Syria that has left 2,700 dead, saying it had undermined the body's authority.

"The failure of the Syria resolution is very regrettable. The UN Security Council has not lived up to its responsibility for peace and security in the world," said Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in a statement from Berlin.

"Germany will continue to push, both internationally and especially within the European Union, for a clear position and pressure on the Syrian regime," added the minister.

After nearly six months of negotiations, nine of the 15 countries on the Security Council voted for the resolution, drawn up by France, with Britain, Germany and Portugal.

The text called for "targeted measures" if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad did not end the assault on demonstrators, which the UN says has resulted in at least 2,700 deaths.

Russia and China used their veto as permanent members of the council to kill the resolution.

South Africa, India, Brazil and Lebanon abstained, reaffirming a divide in the 15-nation body since NATO launched air strikes in Libya using UN resolutions to justify the action.

During an angry debate in the Security Council chamber, US ambassador Susan Rice led a rare walkout protest when Syria's UN envoy accused the United States of being a party to "genocide".

Before the vote, Westerwelle had said that if member states could not speak with one voice, "it will weaken... the authority of the United Nations and the international community."

© 2011 AFP

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