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US disappointed by Russia’s, China’s decision to veto resolution on Syria

October 06, 2011, 5:02 UTC+3

Russia continues to object to possible U.N. sanctions against Syria, a source in the presidential press service said earlier

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WASHINGTON, October 6 (Itar-Tass) —— The U.S. administration is disappointed by Russia’s and China’s decision to veto the draft U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria, Victoria Nuland, Department of State Spokesperson, said on Wednesday, October 5.

She also expressed hope that a visit to Moscow by a delegation of the Syrian opposition would help the Russian authorities get a better grasp of the situation.

The voting on the draft resolution took place on October 4. In addition to its authors – France, Germany, Portugal, and Britain – five more countries – the United States, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Gabon, Nigeria, and Colombia -- voted for it. Brazil, India, South Africa, and Lebanon abstained.

For the resolution to be passed, it needs the support of at least 9 out of 15 Security Council members, provided that none of the permanent members exercises its right to veto.

The draft resolution condemned serious and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities and although it did not contain direct reference to sanctions, it said the U.N. Security Council was determined to review Syria’s compliance with the document within 30 days and consider targeted measures against it, if it fails to do so.

Russia continues to object to possible U.N. sanctions against Syria, a source in the presidential press service said earlier.

The Kremlin stressed that Russia’s position has not changed. “We urge the Syrian leadership to consistently carry out the reforms it has declared,” the source said.

“We remain critical about possible sanctions against Syria,” he said, adding that the United States and the European Union have already imposed sanctions against that country.

“The main question is to implement consistently the reforms [President Bashar] by al-Asad, stop violence and prevent casualties,” the source said.

President Dmitry Medvedev sent a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad earlier, urging the authorities and the opposition to stop violence and start declared reforms in the country.

“In the course of the conversation, while discussing the situation in Syria, the Russian side placed the main emphasis on the need for an urgent and full stop to violence on either side, and for immediate concrete steps to carry out the reforms declared by the leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic,” the presidential press service said.

“It was also stressed that the opposition should not avoid the dialogue proposed by the authorities because this is the only way to restore civil peace and accord and Syria’s movement along the road of democratic reforms,” it said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier urged all sides in Syria to refrain from violence and continue to look for fair and lawful solutions to burning problems.

Moscow “is worried by growing tensions and confrontation leading to the suffering of innocent people”, the ministry said.

“It is necessary for the government and all public, political and confessional forces in friendly Syria to exclude violence and continue the search for fair solutions to burning problems within the law and on the basis of civil consensus,” it said.

“We firmly believe that only a constructive dialogue, acceleration of large-scale political reforms and transformations in the socio-economic life mapped out by the leadership of Syria can ensure stable and democratic development of the country in the interests of all Syrian citizens,” the statement posted on the ministry's website said.

Damascus highly appreciates Russia’s position on events in Syria, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad said earlier.

“We thank the leadership, the government and the people of Russia and many Russian media for their position on the current events in Syria,” he said.

“Syria is becoming a democratic country with a multi-party system, a country that respects human rights. Protection of people\’s interests is one of the elements of the Syrian policy strategy,” the diplomat said.

According to al-Mikdad, President Bashar al-Assad “favours a political solution to the problems facing Syria”.

He stressed, “Syria really stands up to armed groups, terror and extremism”.

“I am convinced that Syria and the Russian Federation and the whole world should fight terrorism,” he said.

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