Russia, China block action against Syria
Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN Security Council resolution yesterday that threatened Syrian authorities with sanctions if they did not stop using heavy weapons against an uprising and withdraw troops from towns and cities.
South Africa and Pakistan abstained from voting on the resolution, according to TV reports.
It was the third time that Russia, a key ally of the Syrian government, and China have used their veto power to block UN Security Council resolutions designed to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and halt the violence in the 16-month conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.
The vetoed resolution, which would have extended a UN observer mission in Syria for 45 days, received 11 votes in favour, with two abstentions.
Britain, France, Germany and the US proposed in the vetoed resolution that international envoy and former UN chief Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan be placed under chapter seven of the UN Charter, which allows the council to authorise actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.