India Backs UN's Syria Resolution, Russia, China Veto It

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by pmaitra, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    China and Russia veto UN resolution condemning Syria

    4 October 2011 | BBC News

    [​IMG]
    There have been six months of protests in Syria and reports of some 2,700 deaths


    China and Russia have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria over its crackdown on anti-government protesters.

    The European-drafted resolution had been watered down to try to avoid the vetoes, dropping a direct reference to sanctions against Damascus.

    But Moscow and Beijing said the draft contained no provision against outside military intervention in Syria.

    The US envoy to the UN said Washington was "outraged" by the vote.

    The result is a huge blow to European and US efforts on the Syria issue, the BBC's Laura Trevelyan in New York says.

    More than 2,700 people have been killed across Syria since the crackdown began in March, the UN estimates.

    The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says it is in the process of introducing reforms and is speaking to members of the opposition. It blames the unrest on armed gangs.

    'Unacceptable'

    Nine countries backed the resolution in the 15-member council, while four more abstained during the vote late on Tuesday.

    But the resolution - which was drafted by France with the co-operation of Britain, Germany and Portugal - was still defeated because of the vetoes from two of the council's five permanent members.

    This was despite the fact that the text had been changed three times by the European allies, who had tried to accommodate Russia's and China's objections.

    The resolution referred to "targeted measures" - instead of sanctions - if the clampdown in Syria continued.

    But Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov earlier said the resolution was "unacceptable" because it envisaged sanctions and did not call on President Assad's government to start talks with the opposition, Russia's Interfax news agency reported.

    Moscow also said that the draft contained no provision against outside military intervention in Syria, or respect for non-interference in its domestic affairs.

    China's UN ambassador Li Baodong said that Beijing "believes that under the current circumstances sanction or threat of sanction does not help resolve the question of Syria. Rather it may further complicate the situation".

    The Libyan conflict has sharpened divisions among Security Council members, with both Moscow and Beijing saying that the resolution authorising the use of force to protect civilians was misused by Nato to bring down Col Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

    Our correspondent says Tuesday's vote exposes the deep rift at the UN between the major powers, and the completely difference of approach in how to deal with Mr Assad's government and its crackdown.

    After the vote, France's UN Ambassador Gerard Araud said the veto showed "disdain for the legitimate interests that have been fought for in Syria" since the protests in the country began.

    The US envoy, Susan Rice, said: "The United States is outraged that this council has utterly failed to address an urgent moral challenge and a growing threat to regional peace and security."

    Washington had said before the vote that it hoped the council would send a strong message to Syria. Germany said the world had to show solidarity with Syrians on the streets.

    Source: BBC News - China and Russia veto UN resolution condemning Syria
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Russia, China veto UN resolution on Syria

    Russia, China veto UN resolution on Syria


    ...

    Nine countries voted for the resolution but Russia and China voted against, killing the resolution because of their veto power as permanent members of the council, while South Africa, India, Brazil and Lebanon abstained.

    ...

    Read full story: Russia, China veto UN resolution on Syria
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Britain attacks China and Russia veto of Syria resolution

    Britain attacks China and Russia veto of Syria resolution


    [​IMG]AFP – 2 hrs 13 mins ago

    Russia and China's decision to veto a UN resolution aimed at ending Syria's deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests is a "bitter blow" to the Syrian people, Britain said Wednesday.


    Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was disappointed by the move and that the two nations would have to live with the consequences of any further violence.


    "I am of course disappointed by Russia and China's decision," he said in a statement.


    "This will be seen in the region as a decision to side with a brutal regime rather than with the people of Syria, and will be a bitter blow to all those Syrians who have implored the international community to take a stand," he added.


    Hague argued that the resolution, introduced by Britain, France, Germany and Portugal, was "carefully drafted and entirely reasonable" and called for both sides to renounce violence.


    The former Conservative party leader vowed to "stand side by side with the Syrian people" in the face of "horrific abuses" committed by President Bashar al-Assad against civilians.


    "Those who blocked it will have this action on their conscience," he added.


    Nine countries voted for the text but the resolution was killed due to the veto power of Russia and China as permanent members of the council.


    South Africa, India, Brazil and Lebanon abstained, following weeks of efforts by the western powers to get them behind the campaign to condemn Assad's crackdown, which the UN says has left at least 2,700 dead.


    The 15 Security Council members have been negotiating various versions of a resolution for more than three months. European demands for immediate sanctions against Assad and his entourage had already been dropped in a bid to get a text passed.


    So far the council has only agreed two statements on the violence.

    Source: Britain attacks China and Russia veto of Syria resolution - Yahoo! News
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Good move by India abstaining from the vote,it is a given that China and Russia will always
    veto any UN resolutions that favor NATO. No need for India to try to have a unstable Syria
    with a pro-Indian government in place. Syria was one of the few sources of oil when India was under
    sanctions after Pokran.
     
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  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Ah the veto!!! Shining example of democracy in the UN!
     
  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ^^

    Indeed that is a great move. Also, the experience from Libya clearly shows that NATO is not going to stop armed people from both the sides, but only those armed people who are from one particular side. The recent invasion of Sirte by the rebels in Libya has not caused the West to express concerns about civilian casualties, simply because the city is loyal to Gaddafi.

    I must say I like what Russia and PRC did.

    Also, Russia is planning on having a military base in Syria and Syria is one of the customers for Russian arms. They will not allow NATO to oust a friendly regime.
     
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    India, till it develops concrete foreign policy objectives and strategies around it will keep abstaining from voting in the UN. Quite like what China has done for 60 years till it finally realized it's a big power.

    If India has any big power aspirations, it should have a policy and a think tank discussing each and every region on the planet and have inputs ready to handle them.

    Indian abstention is nothing but a please all one but one which shows we don't have the balls to vote one way or the other. I am sure the west will not appreciate our abstention saying we have not backed them whole Syria would be least bothered as it has the backing of China and Russia.
     
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  9. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Another shining example of democracy is to not vote at all :D
     
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  10. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Yusuf,

    if india would have been voting it would have been against this resolution, and no way would india have gone ahead with the west, the repercussions of which would have been seen in our relations with iran right away.

    why do we do such things, well for one the obsession of being a UNSC permanent member, will that ever happen, is debatable, the other, it remains in our interest that we play both the US/west and countries like iran/syria (lets not forget the old deeds of these countires) and so this so called "indecisiveness" will keep creeping up.
     
  11. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Even thought the present Syrian regime is quite autocratic and has been just a notch less than Gaddafi in murdering its people, allowing the NATO forces to destabilize Syria is not in Indian interests. The Assad regime have always been very favorable to India, but at the same time India should be more actively involved in this region. Maybe some back channel pressure to bring about democratic reforms, allow for free and fair elections or at least provide training in non-lethal crowd control.
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It was expected.

    Syria has been Russia's 'listening post' in the Middle East.

    Syria has been rather well disposed towards India.

    In so far as autocratic regimes in Middle East, they are all autocratic and some actually murderously horrid.
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    TR, what are India's goals in the region? That the region is vital for our national interest is apparent. Is a regime like Assad which has been lapped up by the Chinese in Indian interests? Who is more important? The govt of Syria or the Syrians? What is wrong in calling for a stoppage in killing of civilians by the brutal regime? How will that exasperated out relations with Iran? If there is a "jasmine" revolution in Iran, we should support it trusting out long standing people to people contacts to help us in the future.

    One way or the other, we need to be decisive. It's not always that we have to toe western line, but whatever we do, it should be backed by clear thought process abd conviction.
     
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  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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  15. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    W.r.t. the emboldened portion:

    Nothing is wrong in stopping the killing of civilians. What is wrong is a potential repetition of what happened in Libya. Want to protect civilians? Sure, go ahead; but please don't protect armed militias in the guise of protecting civilians. You got a gun, you are a combatant. That is the reason why NATO needed to be stopped.

    Russia's stance has been very balanced. They have asked both sides to avoid violence and talk. Is there anyone who finds a problem with that?
     
  16. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    This whole thing about relations with middle east countries based on "domestic compulsion" is bull shit. It's a convenient alibi to not do anything and create a false sense of "brotherhood" where none exists. The only countries important for India in ME are KSA, Iran, and the other smaller but important emirates. Syria is not a major producer of oil and does not have to be pandered to. India has to weigh it's options clearly. We too should be hypocritical if required by supporting authoritative regimes if they are in our interest or promote "democracy" where the regime is not favorable.
     
  17. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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  18. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Yusuf,

    Make sure places where we have influence we don’t lose, where we are gaining, we strengthen our position, which means if we have to play with the devil, so be it, we had a revision in how to handle Myanmar looking at our interests, precisely how India needs to move ahead, no one is untouchable out there.

    Yes, it is in India’s interest to retain and further increase influence in countries wherever possible, so what if china has lapped up the Syrian regime, should we in that case leave Nepal, bd, Myanmar, sri lanka to china as well.

    We cant have a foreign policy in isolation, or think in zero sum game, country like china, which is trying to ascertain its place in the top most league, will be everywhere, they are there in Africa, they are there in latin America and exert very strong influence, and for some reason we always miss the bus and only try to do a catch up, let us not keep repeating same mistakes over and over again.

    Mind you we pretty much messed up latin America, in 08-09 we walked out of a discussion on FTA because then it didn’t measure up to much for us in value terms, today realizing the folly committed, we are back on the negotiation table, pursuing the very same people.

    The interests of India are the most important.

    At a personal level it is for the people and the regime there to decide and not for the international community to decide for them.

    India has condemned the killings in Syria, and I support that.

    Iran is a firm supporter of the Syrian regime, recently when India was chairing the UNSC the Iranians paid a visit to India to make sure that under us no such resolution be allowed to pass through, and we were actively involved in making sure that didn’t happen, by the way so were the Syrians visiting India with the same request.

    Mate, we don’t live in a world of ifs and buts, we deal with who is there leading a country, if its an autocrat, we ought to deal with such a person/regime, we dealt with Musharraf, the instigator of kargil, if tomorrow iran get democracy, we will have to deal with that as well, though who knows what that would mean for India, the mullas of iran for indian haven’t been as bad.


    We are decisive.

    • India very soon will be the world’s 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] largets economy, with the west taking a hit, India provides them with a way of bettering their economies.
    • India is strategically located, china is a big concern for them, India fits in perfectly well.
    • India in another decades time at max will have one of them most well funded, well armed armed forced and the west will have interest in engaging us productively overseas, if not directly then indirectly.

    These are just three advantages that strike me right away and am sure there are more, which means we will have enough leverage to get our terms accepted, and just the way the US and the west have interests in engaging the PRC, Pakistan and India all at the same time, so do we have interests in engaging Syria and the west at the same time, and so I say we are decisive though that decisiveness is not so well pronounced and articulated.

    When India doesn’t vote, we are playing both the sides which best suites us, and let us for now not over estimate our abilities given today. Tomorrow by when we would have achieved the above three and more, I am sure we would see a lot more assertive India, than what we are today, but till then we need to make small-small gestures and not take aggressive postures, we all have see how once very friendly PRC has been mad into a mad wild dog by the west, we don’t want that tag so soon, they are as such very apprehensive about our cold-era past.
     
  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    TR, you didnt get my point. I did not say we should back off where China is or not do business with dicatators. I have said we have to be hypocritical where are interests are served. Dictators in one place, democracy in another.
     
  20. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ^^

    Yusuf,

    You are pragmatic. This is fine. Just remember the slippery slope. If we support rogue regimes that ill treat their people, the people will know, and will hate us. This is what has happened in many countries whose rogue regimes were propped up by the US. Personally though, I'd still go with your being hypocritical approach. It makes sense.
     
  21. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Facing Backlash, Syria Revokes Week-Old Ban on Imports of Consumer Goods

    [​IMG]

    [HR][/HR]October 4, 2011

    Facing Backlash, Syria Revokes Week-Old Ban on Imports of Consumer Goods

    By NADA BAKRI

    BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Syrian government on Tuesday revoked a recent decision to ban imports of most consumer goods, a move that had sent prices soaring and provoked outrage among a business elite that has until now backed the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad in his nearly seven-month contest with anti-government activists.
    The revocation was just one in a string of developments on a tumultuous day for Syria. The United Nations Security Council voted Tuesday on a resolution calling for an end to violence there and suggesting the possibility of sanctions; the resolution failed after Russia and China vetoed it.
    Meanwhile, Turkey said it would begin military maneuvers along its border with Syria this week. Though previously announced, the location of the exercise near the border seemed a move by an increasingly assertive Turkey to bring more pressure on Damascus.
    “Now they’re really banging the gavel,” an Obama administration official said of the Turkish announcement. “They’re suddenly moving very fast.”
    Analysts said that the ban imposed last week on imported merchandise, which included cars, household appliances and even food items, underscored a deep sense of anxiety among the authorities as Syria faces some of its most dangerous political unrest in four decades of dictatorship. Officials said it was needed to protect foreign currency reserves.
    Analysts said the ban had been ordered without any study of the potential effects on the Syrian market or on Syria’s trade agreements with neighboring countries. Some economists in Syria said the import ban and its reversal were indicators that the Syrian leadership remained uncertain in the face of the uprising and its ramifications for the Syrian economy.
    “The ruling caused a domestic uproar that was very important,” said Nabil Sukkar, a former senior economist at the World Bank who now leads the Syrian Consulting Bureau for Development and Investment, based in Damascus. “They realized that they can’t do that because it will lead to soaring prices, smuggling, unemployment and harm the credibility of the reforms.”
    The United States and the European Union have imposed strict economic sanctions on Syria, including an embargo on its crude oil, over its brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests, in which 2,700 people have been killed, according to the United Nations.
    The uprising, which started in mid-March, has devastated Syria’s economy. The International Monetary Fund predicted that growth might shrink by 2 percent this year, given a decline in investment and losses in tourism which, with oil, provide Syria with much of its foreign currency.
    “There is no work, no customers,” said a salesman at an art gallery in Bab Touma, a Christian neighborhood in Damascus. “It has been a really bad season.”
    Analysts said the Syrian government would now take other steps to protect its foreign reserves, which Finance Minister Mohammad al-Jleilati recently estimated at $18 billion — enough to cover the country’s imports for two years. Some economists dismissed that figure as inflated.
    It was not immediately clear why Syria would impose such a ban if it had two years’ worth of reserves on hand. The measure was announced by the economy minister, Mohammad Nidal al-Shaar, on Sept. 26. He said that it was temporary and precautionary, but that it was necessary to protect foreign currency reserves, a main indicator of the government’s stability.
    The Obama administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity following diplomatic protocol, contended that despite the reversal, “the damage has already been done.” The official said inflation had tripled and smuggling had surged since the decision was made, unsettling the business elite in Syria, which has largely sided with the government.
    The “well-to-do are completely dismayed with Assad,” the American official said. “They don’t think he knows what he’s doing. Inflation has gone up. He can’t fix it.”
    Turkey remains a wild card in the developments in Syria. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once one of Mr. Assad’s closest allies, has said he will no longer communicate with the Syrian president, after Mr. Assad repeatedly misled Mr. Erdogan and other Turkish officials about his intentions. Turkish officials have said they will impose sanctions soon, possibly by this week, potentially deepening Syria’s economic woes. Particularly in Aleppo, near the Turkish border, Turkey has fostered economic ties.
    At the Security Council, nine nations, including the United States and its Western allies, voted for the measure condemning Syria, while Brazil, India, South Africa and Lebanon abstained. Russia, whose main ally in the Middle East is Syria, had said that it would not accept a resolution that included even a hint of sanctions.
    The American ambassador, Susan E. Rice, accused opponents of the resolution of seeking to continue arms sales to Syria. “During this season of change, the people of the Middle East can now see clearly which nations have chosen to ignore their calls for democracy and instead prop up desperate, cruel dictators,” Ms. Rice said.
    Anthony Shadid contributed reporting from Beirut, and Neil MacFarquhar from the United Nations.



    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/05/world/middleeast/syria-revokes-ban-on-imports.html






     

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