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Posts Tagged ‘Syria Sanctions’

Russia, China Veto Syria Resolution From UN Security Council

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 20, 2012

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS, July 19 (Reuters) – Russia and China vetoed  a U.N. Security Council resolution on Thursday that threatened  Syrian authorities with sanctions if they did not halt violence  against an uprising, thwarting Western hopes for tough action as  the crisis in Syria escalates.

It was the third time that Russia, a key ally of the Syrian  government, and China have used their veto power to block U.N.  Security Council resolutions designed to put pressure on Syrian  President Bashar al-Assad and halt the violence in a 16-month  conflict that has killed thousands of people.

As efforts to forge a diplomatic solution appeared to  collapse, Syrian rebels clashed with forces loyal to Assad in  Damascus, a day after the killing of three close allies of the  president led to fresh warnings that the situation was spinning  out of control.

The vetoed resolution, which would have extended a U.N.  observer mission in Syria for 45 days, received 11 votes in  favor, while South Africa and Pakistan abstained.

International mediator Kofi Annan, who had sought a tough  resolution to save his disintegrating peace plan, voiced  disappointment, saying the council had failed “to take the  strong and concerted action he had urged and hoped for.”

Russia, which had proposed its own alternative resolution  without the sanctions threat, said it did not now plan to bring  that measure to a vote, leaving the future of the monitoring  mission hanging in the balance less than two days before its  U.N. mandate expires.

Britain proposed a resolution to extend the monitoring  mission for 30 days and hoped to put it to a vote on Thursday,  diplomats said, but it remained unclear how much backing this  new measure might win.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice,  described the twin vetoes as “dangerous and deplorable” and said  the Security Council had “failed utterly.”

“The United States has not, and will not, pin its policy on  an unarmed observer mission that is deployed in the midst of  such widespread violence and that cannot even count on the most  minimal support of this Security Council,” Rice said.

“Instead, we will intensify our work with a diverse range of  partners outside the Security Council to bring pressure to bear  on the Assad regime and to deliver assistance to those in need.”

The United States has been instrumental in forming the   “Friends of Syria” group, which includes a wide range of Western  and Arab countries, that has sought to increase pressure on  Damascus and encourage more unity among Syria’s fractured  opposition. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia Supports Assad, Syria, Last Friend In Middle East

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 30, 2012

MOSCOW — Russia’s defiance of international efforts to end Syrian President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on protests is rooted in a calculation that it can keep a Mideast presence by propping up its last remaining ally in the region – and has nothing to lose if it fails.

The Kremlin has put itself in conflict with the West as it shields Assad’s regime from United Nations sanctions and continues to provide it with weapons even as others impose arms embargoes.

But Moscow’s relations with Washington are already strained amid controversy over U.S. missile defense plans and other disputes. And Prime Minister Vladimir Putin seems eager to defy the U.S. as he campaigns to reclaim the presidency in March elections.

“It would make no sense for Russia to drop its support for Assad,” said Ruslan Pukhov, head of the independent Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. “He is Russia’s last remaining ally in the Middle East, allowing it to preserve some influence in the region.”

Moscow may also hope that Assad can hang on to power with its help and repay Moscow with more weapons contracts and other lucrative deals.

And observers note that even as it has nothing to lose from backing Assad, it has nothing to gain from switching course and supporting the opposition.

“Russia has crossed the Rubicon,” said Igor Korotchenko, head of the Center for Analysis of Global Weapons Trade.

He said Russia will always be marked as the patron of the Assad regime regardless of the conflict’s outcome, so there’s little incentive to build bridges with the protesters. The U.N. estimates that more than 5,400 people have been killed since the uprising began in March. Read the rest of this entry »

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Arab League: Syria Sanctions Approved

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 28, 2011

BEIRUT — In an unprecedented move against an Arab nation, the Arab League on Sunday approved economic sanctions on Syria to pressure Damascus to end its deadly suppression of an 8-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad.

But even as world leaders abandon Assad, the regime has refused to ease a military assault on dissent that already has killed more than 3,500 people. On Sunday, Damascus slammed the sanctions as a betrayal of Arab solidarity and insisted a foreign conspiracy was behind the revolt, all but assuring more bloodshed will follow.

The sanctions are among the clearest signs yet of the isolation Syria is suffering because of the crackdown. Damascus has long boasted of being a powerhouse of Arab nationalism, but Assad has been abandoned by some of his closest allies and now his Arab neighbors. The growing movement against his regime could transform some of the most enduring alliances in the Middle East and beyond.

At a news conference in Cairo, Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim said 19 of the League’s 22 member nations approved a series of tough punishments that include cutting off transactions with the Syrian central bank, halting Arab government funding for projects in Syria and freezing government assets. Those sanctions are to take effect immediately.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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