The United Nations Security Council is facing scepticism over its effectiveness, as Syria fails to keep its promises.
The deadline for the government to call in its troops was ignored, but there are doubts about sanctions against Damascus, given that China and Russia vetoed resolutions the Council proposed in October.
That drew American anger.
US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said: “This is not about military intervention. This is not about Libya. That is a cheap ruse by those who would rather sell arms to Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people.”
Seemingly sanction-averse Russia and China also vetoed the next attempt at a resolution even though it did not call for military intervention or for President al-Assad to give up power. Russia claimed fairness was at stake.
Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said: “The authors of this resolution haven’t taken into account terms we proposed, which say the Syrian opposition must distance itself from extremist groups committing acts of violence.”
Arab League and UN envoy for the Syrian crisis Kofi Annan has said al-Assad’s government wants to be sure that the opposition forces will also stop fighting. Al-Assad has promised to reform Syria, move it toward democratic elections and change its constitution.
Russia has been a faithful ally to Syria under al-Assad, but must consider how the country might evolve. On Tuesday the Russian foreign minister made clear that Moscow expected compliance from Damascus.
Sergei Lavrov said: “I will tell you frankly, we voiced our assessment with our Syrian colleagues. We think they could have been more active, their actions more decisive, executing provisions of Kofi Annan’s plan.”
The US ambassador to the UN said the next logical step to force compliance was to apply further pressure, collectively.
Susan Rice said: “If not, then it looks quite obvious that what is increasingly becoming a violent crisis will potentially devolve quite regrettably into full-scale civil war, with all of the consequences that entails for the people of Syria.”
China, the other powerful al-Assad ally, has conveyed its concern over the spreading effects of hostilities in Syria. Beijing has urged Damascus and opposition forces to apply the Annan plan.
- 1Merkel: no talks on new Greece bailout deal until after referendum
- 2UPDATE Egypt: Islamist militants affiliated to ISIL claim deadly Sinai attacks
- 3Ku Klux Klan set for Confederate flag rally as black church fires probed
- 4What is the market price of valour for Greece?
- 5Europe will wait for the results of the Greek referendum
- 1Tsipras says if Greeks approve the EU’s aid plan, Syriza will resign
- 2Eurogroup ministers to discuss new Greece aid proposal
- 3Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 4The end of the road for Uber? Executives detained by French police
- 5Miss Universe turns ugly for Trump as US TV network cut ties with presidential candidate
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Spain’s first case of diphtheria in 30 years: parents of six-year-old ‘oppose vaccines’
- 3Greek debt crisis is “absolute supremacy of capital over humans”
- 4[Live updates] NGO flotilla bids to break Israeli blockade of Gaza
- 5[LIVE UPDATES] Greek debt deadline looms
- 6[LIVE UPDATES] France: man decapitated, several wounded in chemical plant attack
- 7Israel prepares to repel boarders as ‘Freedom Flotilla 3’ tries to run Gaza blockade
- 8Greek debt summit – Live updates
- 9Large Hadron Collider ready to embark on an unprecedented voyage of discovery
- 10Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 11‘Distractingly sexy’ scientists hit back in lab chemistry polemic
- 12Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria focus of EU cash fraud probes
- 13NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 14Summit up in Brussels as Greek proposals give food for thought and rumours fly
- 15Interpol issues ‘red notice’ for accused ex-FIFA bosses
- 16Battle of Waterloo, live-tweeting 200 years on
- 17Greek PM faces day of crucial bailout talks in Brussels
- 18Citizens take power in Spain’s largest cities as a political revolution sweeps the country
- 19Italy discovers biggest illegal waste dump in Europe
- 20Greek debt: who will pay if Greece fails?
Wires > News
- 02:24 CET Images show Chinese airstrip on man-made Spratly island nearly…
- 00:50 CET Britain, Russia at odds over U.N. Srebrenica genocide commemoration
- 00:18 CET More than 100 dead as militants, Egyptian army clash in North Sinai
- 23:55 CET Migrant trafficker jailed for 18 years for 2013 shipwreck off Italy
- 23:20 CET Congo Republic leader calls for national dialogue, with term…
- 23:10 CET Fleeing a crisis, Greek migrants flock back to Australia
- 22:27 CET Mexico supreme court judge urges states to legalize gay marriage
- 22:23 CET U.N. Security council blacklists six rival South Sudan generals