Diplomatic and Military Affairs

UN condemns embassy attacks in Damascus

Updated: 2011-07-14 07:57

(China Daily)

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China, Russia oppose resolution on Syria from European countries

BEIJING - The United Nations on Tuesday condemned in the strongest terms the attacks against embassies in the Syrian capital which it said damaged the premises and injured diplomatic personnel.

The French and US embassies in Damascus were attacked on Monday after the ambassadors of the two countries last week traveled to the flashpoint protest city of Hama, north of the capital.

"The members of the Security Council recall the fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic missions and the obligations on host governments, including under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, to take all appropriate steps to protect embassy premises," Ambassador Peter Wittig of Germany, which holds the council's rotating presidency this month, said in a statement read out to the media.

Council members called on the Syrian authorities to protect diplomatic property and personnel.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also stressed that the security of diplomatic missions is the responsibility of the host countries and reminded the Syrian government of its obligations in this regard.

"The secretary-general reiterates his call for genuine and credible dialogue and political reforms, which should be carried out without delay," said a statement issued by Ban's spokesperson.

Syria has witnessed months of unrest beginning earlier this year since anti-government demonstrations started in the southern province of Daraa.

France, Britain, Germany and Portugal proposed a resolution at the UN Security Council condemning the crackdown by the Syrian government.

Russia and China expressed strong opposition to the move, and Brazil, South Africa and India also raised strong objections, according to Agence France-Presse.

China said earlier it supports dialogue and coordination between relevant parties in Syria in order to resolve internal differences.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in late June that China supports Syria's right to choose a development path that suits its national conditions in order to achieve long-term stability and prosperity.

He called on the international community to continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace and stability in Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday rejected the assumptions of some Western experts that Russia is indirectly supporting the government of Muammar Gadhafi in Libya when it opposes sanctions against Syria.

Lavrov said in an interview with Voice of Russia that the opposition in Syria should respond to the reforms initiated by the authorities in order to avoid the Libyan scenario.

France on Wednesday described as "indecent" Russia and China's "blocking" of the proposed UN resolution condemning Syria's crackdown on anti-government protests.

"It is indecent because (Syrian leader) Bashar Al-Assad has mobilized incredible resources to neutralize his opposition," said French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet.

China Daily-AFP


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