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Rediff.com  » News » Damn you, Russia... It's about saving Syrians: US

Damn you, Russia... It's about saving Syrians: US

September 06, 2013 10:18 IST

Damn you, Russia... It's about saving Syrians: US

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The United States has said that it has given up trying to work with the United Nations Security Council on Syria, holding Russia responsible for preventing the world body from protecting security of Syrian people.

Following another round of consultation with members of the UNSC, the US announced that it has given up trying to work with the world body on Syrian crisis.

"I was present in the meeting where the UK laid down the resolution and everything in that meeting, in word and in body language, suggests that that resolution has no prospect of being adopted by Russia in particular," the US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said.

"Our considered view, after months of efforts on chemical weapons and after two and a half years on Geneva, on the humanitarian situation, is that there is no viable path forward in this Security Council," she said.

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Image: US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power speaks to the press following a UN Security Council meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York
Photographs: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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Power rued that because of countries like Russia the 15-nation council has failed to live up to its reputation.

"We in the United States agree with the view that -- at times like this -- the Security Council should live up to its obligations and should act," she said.

"Unfortunately, for the past two and a half years, the system devised in 1945 precisely to deal with threats of this nature did not work as it was supposed to. It has not protected peace and security for the hundreds of Syrian children who were gassed to death on August 21," she said.

She said the system, instead, has protected the prerogatives of Russia, the patron of a regime that would brazenly stage the world's largest chemical weapons attack in a quarter century, while chemical weapons inspectors sent by the United Nations were just across town.

Even in the wake of the flagrant shattering of the international norm against chemical weapons use, Russia continues to hold the Council hostage and shirk its international responsibilities, including as a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, she said.

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Image: Syrian people carry their belongings as they enter Turkey with their family from the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate, located opposite Syrian commercial crossing point Bab al-Hawa in Reyhanli, Hatay province
Photographs: Umit Bektas/Reuters

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"What we have learnt is that the Security Council the world needs to deal with this crisis is not the Security Council we have," Power said.

It is in the interest of all member states of the UN to respond decisively to this horrific attack, she said.

Earlier in the day, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said the Security Council was not the appropriate venue for discussing chemical weapons or condemning chemical weapons.

Power said that Russia even blocked the issuance of a mere press statement condemning chemical weapon use in the Security Council.

"There is nothing in the pattern of our interactions with our colleagues in the Security Council, with our Russian colleagues, that would give us any reason to be optimistic, and indeed we have seen nothing in President Putin's comments that suggest that there is an available path forward at the Security Council," she said. 

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Image: A Free Syrian Army fighter aims his weapon as he takes a defensive position in the old city of Aleppo
Photographs: Muzaffar Salman/Reuters

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