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China and Russia Veto UN Draft Resolution on Sanctioning Syria
Solid evidence is required to reach conclusions
By Ding Ying | Web Exclusive

The UN Security Council fails to adopt a draft resolution aiming to establish a sanction regime over the alledged use of chemicals weapons in Syria at the UN headquarters in New York, on February 28 (XINHUA)

China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution on February 28 at the UN headquarters in New York. The resolution, which was jointly drafted by Britain, France and the United States, aimed to impose sanctions over the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

This draft was based on allegations of chemical weapon attacks made by a joint probe from the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Syrian Government was suspected of using toxic chemicals as weapons in three cases, according to the joint report. If the draft had been adopted, individuals and entities associated with the Syrian Government would have faced asset freezes and travel bans.

"It is too early to reach a final conclusion," stated Chinese Ambassador to the UN Liu Jieyi. He reminded the council that investigations on the use of chemical weapons are still ongoing.

He iterated China's stance, saying, "We oppose the use of chemical weapons by any state, any organization and any individual under any circumstance." However, the council should make conclusions with accurate, detailed and solid evidence instead of incomplete investigations, he added.

Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN Vladimir Safronkov criticized the vote for ignoring the efforts of a new round of intra-Syrian peace talks in Geneva still underway.

"We see this as an attempt to retard and undermine the current political and diplomatic efforts," said the Russian diplomat, adding that there was "no convincing evidence on the basis of which any sort of allegations could be made."

He warned that sanctions against the Syrian Government proposed in the draft could lead counter-terrorism and humanitarian relief efforts in the country to be in vain.

Bolivia also voted against the draft, while Kazakhstan, Egypt and Ethiopia abstained.

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