UNITED NATIONS: Russia and China Saturday vetoed an Arab League-backed resolution at the UNSC that called on the Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, while India along with the US and 12 others backed the move.
France, Britain and Pakistan also voted in favour of the resolution aimed at putting pressure on Syria to end its 11-month-long crackdown on anti-government protests that has killed more than 200 people in one of the bloodiest episodes of the uprising against Assad's regime.
This is the second time that Russia and China have carried out their double veto after the first one on October 5.
Ahead of the vote, the US President Mr Barack Obama blamed the Syrian government of "unspeakable assault" on its civilians in the city of Homs, as he demanded that President Bashar Assad step down. "I strongly condemn the Syrian government's unspeakable assault against the people of Homs and I offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones," Mr Obama said in Washington. He said Assad has "no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community".
The Human Rights Watch immediately condemned the UNSC resolution, terming the Russian and Chinese decision as irresponsible and praised India, which so far was seen siding with Moscow and Beijing on this issue, for voting in favour of the failed resolution. “Vetoes by Moscow and Beijing four months ago were irresponsible," it said in a statement. "Vetoes by Russia and China are not only a slap in the face of the Arab League, they are also a betrayal of the Syrian people," it added.