Chinese and Russia veto 'sad day for Syrians and UN': France
The decision by Russia and China to veto a UN Security Council resolution targeting Syria marked a "sad day for the Syrian people" and for the council itself, France said Wednesday.
"The Security Council could not remain silent in the face of the Syrian tragedy," Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said in a statement, after the veto blocked the European call for "targeted measures" against Damascus.
"It had to rise up against a dictator who is massacring his people and seeking to stifle the Syrians' legitimate aspiration to democracy," he said.
"France, with her partners, tried everything possible to propose to the Security Council a text which is strong but can reflect everyone's concerns. Some decided to impose their veto," he said.
"It is a sad day for the Syrian people. It is a sad day for the Security Council. The Syrian democrats' struggle for freedom is a just struggle.
"France will continue to support it firmly, along with all those countries that so wish," he said.
After nearly six months of negotiations, nine of 15 Council members voted for the text, drawn up by France with Britain, Germany and Portugal.
It urged action if Syria's President Bashar al-Assad does not halt attacks on demonstrators, which the UN says have left at least 2,700 dead.
As permanent members of the council, Russia and China used their veto to kill the resolution. South Africa, India, Brazil and Lebanon abstained.
© 2011 AFP