New York, Feb 17 : Russia and China were left isolated in voting against a United Nations resolution calling for a halt of the ongoing violence in Syria.
The measure was passed at the UN General Assembly by 137 votes to 12, with 17 countries abstaining from voting.
“President Assad and the Syrian regime must heed the call of the international community and allow a peaceful political transition to resolve the crisis,” The Telegraph quoted Foreign Secretary William Hague, as saying.
“President Assad and those around him should be under no doubt that we will continue to support the Syrian people in their aspiration for a peaceful political transition in Syria,” he added.
British diplomats hailed the vote as a moral boost to the international pressure on Syria to end the brutal crackdown, which is estimated to have killed around 7,000 people.
But the negative votes by two permanent members of the UN Security Council cast doubts on French claims that Russia was prepared to resolve the Syrian crisis.
Russia’s representative at the UN Vitaly Churkin said that his country is not backing the General Assembly motion because it did not require the involvement of the opposition in Syria to halt violence.
China refused to support the resolution because it called President Bashar al-Assad to step down, which Beijing said amounts to a regime change, that would lead to “more chaos and more crisis.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that crimes against humanity were taking place in Syria.
“We see neighbourhoods shelled indiscriminately, hospitals used as torture centres, children as young as 10 years old killed and abused. We see almost certainly crimes against humanity,” he added. (ANI)