Russia and China’s veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria was a travesty, the United States said on Saturday, saying it would work with other nations to support democratic change in the Arab nation.
The resolution vetoed by Russia and China would have urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power after a bloody 11-month uprising.
It also would have supported an Arab League plan under which Assad would have ceded powers to a deputy, withdraw troops from towns and started a transition to democracy.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pulled no punches in criticizing the vetoes by Russia and China, though she did not mention either by name.
“What happened yesterday at the United Nations was a travesty,” she said.
“Faced with a neutered Security Council, we have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations with those allies and partners who support the Syrian people’s right to have a better future,” she said. “We have to increase diplomatic pressure on the Assad regime and work to convince those people around President Assad that he must go.”
Clinton also said the United States would work with other nations to try to tighten “regional and national” sanctions “to dry up the sources of funding and the arms shipments that are keeping the regime’s war machine going.”
“We will work to expose those who are still funding the regime and sending it weapons that are used against defenseless Syrians, including women and children,” she said. “We will work with the friends of a democratic Syria around the world to support the opposition’s peaceful political plans for change.”