Germany regrets UN vote on Syria, sees new EU sanctions

5th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany lamented Wednesday the failure of the UN Security Council to agree a resolution on a bloody crackdown in Syria that has left 2,700 dead and said the European Union was preparing new sanctions.

"The failure of the Syria resolution is very regrettable," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.

"The UN Security Council has not lived up to its responsibility for peace and security in the world," he added.

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

Westerwelle said later that the inability of the council to pass a resolution due to a veto by permanent members Russia and China marked a "truly sad day for international law and human rights."

His comments echoed those made by his French counterpart Alain Juppe.

The EU was hammering out an eighth package of sanctions against Damascus "to increase the pressure against the Assad regime," Westerwelle told reporters, without providing details.

"This shows we are serious."

The EU passed a seventh round of sanctions against Syria on September 23, banning new investments in Syria's oil sector at home and abroad, and prohibiting delivery of bank notes to the central bank.

On Tuesday, after nearly six months of negotiations, nine of the 15 countries on the Security Council voted for the resolution against Syria, 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.

In addition to the Russian and Chinese vetoes, 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.

© 2011 AFP

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