Lebanon News

Officials divided over U.N. veto of Syria resolution

BEIRUT: Lebanese politicians were divided in their response to Russia and China’s veto of a U.N. Security Council draft resolution condemning violence in Syria, with March 8 officials supporting the move and their March 14 counterparts criticizingit. Amal Movement MP Hani Qobeissi praised the stance of Russia and China. Speaking during a memorial ceremony in the southern village of Kfar Joz Sunday, Qobeissi said the two world powers defended “this region and a [Syrian] regime that has confronted Israel over the past four decades, while some Arab leaders are paying money in an effort to defeat such regimes for the sake of those who seek to dominate the region.”

On the other side of the divide, Beirut MP Jean Ogassapian, from the Future Movement, said that the Security Council did not fulfill its duty to stop the “continuous bloodshed in Syria.”

The veto, Ogassapian told a local radio station, “will lead to further casualties, destruction, internal tension and things will slide toward a civil war [in Syria] and this will have negative repercussions, on the surrounding area in particular.”

Russia and China vetoed Saturday a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria for its crackdown on protesters. The resolution was supported by the United States, France and Britain, the three other permanent members of the Security Council.

Separately, former Minister Wi’am Wahhab, the head of the Arab Tawhid Party, said that the situation in Syria is “under control.”

“President Assad insists that no Syrian citizen carries arms against a fellow citizen,” said Wahhab, who held talks with Assad in Damascus last week.

“For sure there are some problems in some Syrian districts, but the Syrian army is still capable of addressing these problems and protecting all the people of Syria,” he added.

The Druze official, who made his remarks while visiting senior Druze religious figures, passed the greetings of Assad to senior Druze sheikhs, thanking them for their support of Syria.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 06, 2012, on page 2.




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