|US Ambassador to the United Nations
Susan Rice, pictured in July
© AFP/File Saul Loeb
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – The United States expressed “outrage” at the UN Security Council’s failure Tuesday to pass a resolution on Syria and its ambassador walked out of the chamber in protest at a speech by Syria’s envoy.
US ambassador Susan Rice demanded “tough, targeted sanctions” by the international community against President Bashar al-Assad for his deadly crackdown on opponents.
Rice led a US walkout from the council chamber as Syria’s ambassador launched a tirade against Western countries in a speech to the 15-member body. Britain’s ambassador Mark Lyall Grant also walked out in protest.
“The United States is outraged that this council has utterly failed to address an urgent moral challenge and a growing threat to regional peace and security,” said Rice after Russia and China vetoed a resolution that threatened possible measures against Syria.
Rice condemned opponents of the resolution on the 15-member council who she said “would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime.”
“Today two members have vetoed a vastly watered down text that doesn’t even mention sanctions,” she told the council.
“Let me be clear: the United States believes it is past time that this council assumed its responsibilities and imposed tough targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on the Assad regime.”
The United States and European Union have passed sanctions against the Syrian government. Russia and China repeatedly threatened to veto any mention of UN measures however.
“Today the courageous people of Syria can now see who on this council supports their yearning for liberty and universal human rights and who does not,” Rice said.
Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari condemned what he called the “unprecedently aggressive” language used by western envoys in the chamber.
He said those seeking action against Syria were “our enemies” and had no “humanitarian motive”
Rice and her delegation walked out in protest as Jaafari accused western countries of “inciting” violence in Syria and turned against western action in the Palestinian territories.
The British ambassador soon followed leaving one of his deputies to listen.
© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license