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Hillary Clinton seeks “Out of UN” solution to Syrian conflict
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 500 days ago | Monday, 6th February , 2012 , 03:27 [am] | International
|.|| The U.S. will work with its allies to put â€œimmense pressureâ€ on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down after Russia vetoed a resolution aimed at ending fighting, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
â€œFaced with a neutered Security Council, we have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations with those allies and partners who support the Syrian peopleâ€™s right to have a better
According to Bloomberg, The U.S. will work with its allies to put â€œimmense pressureâ€ on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down after Russia vetoed a resolution aimed at ending fighting, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
â€œFaced with a neutered Security Council, we have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations with those allies and partners who support the Syrian peopleâ€™s right to have a better future,â€ U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in Sofia, Bulgaria, yesterday. â€œAssad must go.â€
The U.S. will also work to strengthen sanctions against the Syrian government and â€œexpose those funding Assadâ€™s regime,â€ she said.
Russia and China vetoed on Feb. 4 a proposal by Western and Arab countries that backed an Arab League plan to facilitate a political transition in Syria. It was the second time Russia blocked attempts at the UN to hold Assad accountable for a conflict that the UN says has killed more than 5,400 people.
The veto gives Assad a â€œlicense to kill,â€ Qatarâ€™s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalid Al Attiyah said at a security conference in Munich. â€œThis is exactly what we feared.â€
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the head of Russiaâ€™s Foreign Intelligence Service Mikhail Fradkov will visit Damascus tomorrow to meet with Assad, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.
Russian Weapons Sales
Russia sells Syria weapons and has its only military base outside the former Soviet Union in the Syrian port of Tartus.
â€œThe Russian government is not only unapologetically arming a government that is killing its own people, but also providing it with diplomatic cover,â€ Philippe Bolopion, UN director at Human Rights Watch in New York, said after the UN vote.
Assad has blamed â€œterroristsâ€ and foreign provocateurs for fomenting the protests, which began in March.
â€œThe visit by Russian diplomats to Damascus next Tuesday indicates that Moscow knows the regime is in trouble,â€ Andrew J. Tabler, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said in response to e-mailed questions. â€œThey want to try and see if they can prop it up by convincing it to reform — the one thing this regime has proven incapable of doing for over four decades.â€
A measure of Russiaâ€™s growing isolation is that South Africa and India, which had abstained in an October UN vote on Syria that was vetoed by Russia and China, broke ranks and sided with Arab and European nations.
Both countries took issue with Russiaâ€™s claims that concessions made by Arab and European Union negotiators in the final draft could still be interpreted as calls for an Assad ouster.
â€œWe thought we had a consensus textâ€ and that â€œeveryone was agreed,â€ Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri said in an interview. The Russians wanted â€œanother three days time but with the spiraling violence the council was not in the mood to countenance delayed action.â€
For both Russia and China to veto the resolution after the regimeâ€™s assault on Homs and after Arab and Western allies diluted the resolution â€œeffectively means they were helping Assad play for time and ensure his rule,â€ Tabler said.
Syrian Death Toll
The Syrian army killed 47 protesters yesterday, including five children, Al Jazeera reported, citing activists. The UN says Assadâ€™s regime has killed more than 5,400 people and that the uprising is evolving into a civil war.
â€œThe veto of the resolution on Syria will embolden Assad to even further brutalize his people,â€ Paul Sullivan, a specialist in Middle East security at Georgetown University in Washington, said in an e-mail. â€œThere has been some consideration given to tightening sanctions, but without the arms embargo this will end up likely hurting the people it might be intended to help more than those in power.â€
â€œWe are trying to start a process of political transition,â€ Clinton said. â€œThe failure to do so will increase the risk of a brutal civil war.â€
U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said Syriaâ€™s government was bound to fall and that the UN Security Council will return to the subject of violence in Syria. â€œThis is a doomed regime, as well as a murdering regime,â€ Hague told Sky News. â€œThereâ€™s no way it can get its credibility back.â€
The Arab League in November imposed sanctions on the regime and sent monitors to the country in an effort to stop the violence. The league later drafted a plan that called for the formation of a national unity government within two months to implement a peaceful handover of power.
The Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said that, while he â€œwould certainly agree tragic events are happeningâ€ in Syria, his country had â€œmade an honest effort.â€ He said the Arab League â€œshall not count on the Councilâ€ for endorsement of a plan that imposes a timeline on when Assad should leave.
Russiaâ€™s alignment with Syria may put at stake the countryâ€™s relationship with oil-rich Gulf States led by Qatar that asked the Security Council to endorse their plan to convince Assad to delegate his powers to a deputy to pave way for elections.
â€œThe Russians are doing this to help preserve their navy base in Tartus, their arms trade with Syria and their strategic position in the Eastern Mediterranean,â€ Sullivan said. â€œIn the end Russia will lose its base. Russia has also in many ways lost the Arabs on this.â€, Voice of a Nation