Britain slams Russia, China veto on Syria UN resolution
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday a decision by Russia and China to veto a UN Security Council resolution targeting Syria was "deeply mistaken and regrettable".
"The decision of Russia and China to veto this resolution, and to side with a brutal regime rather than with the people of Syria, is deeply mistaken and regrettable," he told his Conservative party's conference in Manchester, northwest England.
"We will redouble our efforts to work with other nations to increase the pressure on the regime wherever we can, and we assure the people of Syria that they will not be forgotten."
The United States and France have also attacked the decision by Moscow and Beijing, both veto-wielding permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, to kill the European resolution on Tuesday.
The resolution, drawn up by France, with Britain, Germany and Portugal, had called for "targeted measures" if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime continues its crackdown on protesters, which the UN says has left at least 2,700 people dead.
Nine countries voted in favour of the resolution, which was tabled after nearly six months of negotiations.
In a statement issued late Tuesday shortly after Russia and China vetoed the resolution, Hague said the move was a "bitter blow to all those Syrians who have implored the international community to take a stand."
He said the Assad regime "has had repeated opportunities to stop the violence and to reform had it intended to do so.
"Those who blocked it (the resolution) will have this action on their conscience."
© 2011 AFP