Washington: Slamming Russia and China for vetoing a UNSC resolution against Syria over its crackdown on anti-regime protesters, the US has said the countries, which were on the "wrong side" of history, would have to take responsibility for their decision.
 
"Countries have to take responsibility for the decision that they made yesterday and any implications it might have on the ground in Syria," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters when asked about the veto by Russia and China at the UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria.

India, a non-permanent member of the UNSC, had abstained from the vote.

The State Department spokesperson said: "We had nine votes, which was enough for passage. It was the vetoes that killed these resolutions."

Nuland's remarks came when a reporter said "it wasn't just the Russians and the Chinese who voted no, there were four countries that abstained, including the world's largest democracy. Are there consequences for countries that abstained?"
"I'm not going to speak to the abstentions," Nuland responded again when asked about India's stand on Syria.

But she was tough on Russia and China. "We obviously consider that the Security Council failed yesterday to address the urgent moral challenge and the growing threat to international peace and security caused by the Syrian regime's brutality.

"We firmly believe that history will bear out which nations were right and which were on the wrong side in this vote yesterday," Nuland said.

"The Syrian Government may well be crowing, but I would call your attention to what's happening on the Syrian opposition websites and blogs, where there is enormous outrage and anger and disappointment, particularly directed at the vetoing countries," she said.

"I saw this morning a gruesome cartoon that had been up on one of the Syrian websites with two spigots, looked like oil spigots, with blood dripping from them with the names of those countries plastered on them," Nuland said.

So clearly, she said, the brave and largely peaceful Syrian opposition that has been standing up to abuse and bullets and torture and arrest day after day in cities across Syria has "been severely let down by this vote."

"It doesn't change the fact that the US will continue to work with as many countries as we can to increase the pressure on the Syrian regime. You know that we have cut off our relationship completely on the economic front; we have called for President Bashar al-Asad to step aside," she said.

The European Union, Nuland noted, has completely cut its oil and economic relationship with Syria. "We understand that the Government of Turkey – you may have seen press reports from them today – are considering increasing the pressure on the Asad regime."

"We do believe that, despite this vote yesterday, the number of countries that is prepared to tighten the noose on the regime continues to grow and will grow, and we will work with them," she said.

"I'm not going to characterise where we were in our negotiation, except to say that we had been working on this for weeks and weeks and weeks, and we had gone along with a significant weakening of the resolution," she said.

"I mean, the text that we supported yesterday was far weaker than we would have liked. It didn't include the teeth of sanctions, and even that proved to be too much. So that was extremely disappointing," she said.

(Agencies)