Russia, China UN veto “paralyses” action on Syria, France says

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe denounced China and Russia's veto of a UN Security Council resolution on the Syria crisis on Saturday, saying it "paralyzed" the international community.

"It is a heavy responsibility because of course that paralyses the international community," he told France 2 Television -- particularly given the efforts that had been made to meet their objections, he added.

"I understand it even less given that we made great efforts to accept the amendments presented by Russia and by China," he added.

"There was no arms embargo, no sanctions, no call for Bashar al-Assad's departure in this resolution," he said, listing the concessions that Western powers had made in their bid to pass the resolution.

"We could not go further.”

Specifically they were not prepared to put the regime, which he said was guilty of crimes against humanity, on the same footing as the opposition forces fighting them, "often with their bare hands," he said.

Thirteen countries voted for the resolution drafted by Arab and European nations which would have given strong backing to an Arab League plan to end the crisis.

Russia and China made a repeat of their rare double veto carried out on October 5 on an earlier condemnation of Assad.

Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin called the draft resolution "unbalanced."

China's official news agency quoted Li Baodong, quoted Beijing's representative to the UN, as saying more consultation had been needed.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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