Analysis

Syria: UN Failure Worsens Syria Crisis, Setback for U.S.
Members of the UN Security Council vote on a resolution on Syria, February 4, 2012. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
February 6, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
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As violence in Syria rises to its highest levels yet, chances of a near-term solution diminished over the weekend when Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution aimed at halting the bloodshed. The failed resolution will encourage Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to continue the crackdown and raises serious questions about the direction of Western policy on Syria, especially by the United States.

Moscow had warned it would oppose the resolution which called for Assad to hand over power to his deputy, form a unity government to oversee writing a new constitution, and parliamentary and presidential elections.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the resolution made too few demands on anti-government armed groups and that it would “prejudge” the outcome of a national dialogue.  Both Russia and China also said the resolution could be interpreted as a call for Assad’s ouster.  Before the UN voted on the new resolution, Russia announced that Lavrov will visit Damascus on February 7 to hold talks with Assad. 

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