Thursday, October 13, 2016
Foreign Ministry statement in connection with Russia’s veto of the French-proposed UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria
On October 8, the Russian Federation voted against the UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria, proposed by France.
The text of the document, which was obviously drawn up with Washington’s encouragement directly after the United States refused to observe the Russian-US agreements on the Syrian settlement, flagrantly misrepresented the actual state of affairs and had a politically-charged and unbalanced character. The French-proposed document indiscriminately laid the blame for the escalation of tensions in the Syrian Arab Republic solely on the country’s authorities and plainly attempted, through a ban on military flights over the city of Aleppo, to afford protection to Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and the militants that have merged with it, despite the UN member states’ obligation to fight the terrorist threat with all available means. The draft resolution completely obscured the fact that the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo was provoked deliberately, when in August and September the militants refused to provide access to humanitarian convoys, threatening to open fire on them. At the same time, the document ignored the need to promptly initiate an intra-Syrian political process, which is being sabotaged by the same Syrian opposition members who are supported and covered by the West in every possible way.
During the discussion on the draft resolution, the Russian delegation proposed constructive amendments aimed at giving the document greater objectivity. We insisted on clearly and explicitly securing the key message on the necessity to separate those who consider themselves ’moderate opposition’ from the terrorists. We emphasised the need to have the militants unblock Castello Road, a vital transport artery to eastern Aleppo. We defended the mechanisms for securing the ceasefire, which were approved by the International Syria Support Group, and sought unconditional approval of the coordinated framework for a settlement in the Syrian crisis as laid out in UNSC resolutions.
We proposed a compromise variant of the resolution to prevent a split in the Security Council. However, the co-authors of the French-proposed draft resolution, encouraged by the rabid critics of Damascus, failed to show political wisdom. Instead of talks aimed at a positive practical result, they chose an ultimatum, a clamorous grandstanding move that exploited the humanitarian issues aimed at momentary political goals that are far from the interests of the Syrian and other people in the region. It is revealing that our rejection of such an approach was shared by a number of the Security Council members.
The failed attempt at exploiting the Security Council’s authority has again shown the obsession of the initiators of the French draft resolution with the idea of an unconstitutional change of power in Syria through an international terrorism resource, which is lavishly propped up from abroad.
It is well known that Russia was not involved in the Syrian conflict for four years, as Western governments fostered armed extremist groups, and joined the military operations in Syria at the request of its legitimate government only after a serious threat of the seizure of Damascus by terrorists emerged. It would have been unacceptable to allow Syria to fall into the fate of Iraq or Libya, which were invaded, which in turn led to the destabilisation in the Middle East, thus giving rise to ISIS and new incarnations of Al-Qaeda, such as al-Nusra. It is unfortunate that some of our partners never learn from history.
With deep regret for the damage done to the efforts for a settlement in Syria by those who support an escalation in the confrontation, Russia confirms its deep commitment to seeking a long-term political solution to the Syrian conflict. We remain open to constructive collective efforts in the interest of fulfilling the obligations in the agreements in good faith and the coordination of additional steps to allow the Syrians to choose the future of their country through a dialogue between all political and ethno-confessional groups, without external interference.
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