Russia, China: Bypassing UN Rules Is Impermissible
August 21, 2012
Russia, China say bypassing UN rules is ‘impermissible’
Russia and China have jointly called for other nations to strictly observe the UN charter and the international law after the US said it would bypass the UN in its actions on Syria.
“Russia and China have very reliable criteria with which we measure all our steps. This is the necessity to strictly observe the norms of international law and the principles contained in the UN Charter, and not to allow their violation,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said as he was meeting with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo in Moscow.
“This is the only right way in modern conditions,” the Russian official added.
The joint comment came soon after the US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland announced that her country was still set to act in circumvention of the UN Security Council’s decisions on Syria. The official stated that Washington doubted that the Security Council would manage to reach a consensus on a Syrian settlement.
US President Barack Obama added to the tensions by announcing that the United States could use military force against Syria if it sees a threat of use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad.
Lavrov told the press that effective approaches can only be collective. He said that the resolution signed by the UN, EU and Arab League on June 30 was a fine example of such approach. The resolution stipulates that all sides in the Syrian conflict must cooperate with UN observers, allow humanitarian aid to be delivered, release detainees, grant journalists access and protect the right to peaceful demonstrations.
Xinhua News Agency
August 21, 2012
Senior Chinese, Russian officials meet on strategic security
MOSCOW: Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo said Monday that China and Russia should further strengthen their coordination and cooperation on strategic security issues.
Dai made the remarks at the seventh round of China-Russia strategic security consultations with Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev in Moscow.
During the talks, Dai noted that China and Russia had common interests in strategic security, as both countries were making efforts to realize their national rejuvenation and development, which required favorable internal and external environments.
Under the current complex international situation, it was of great significance for the two countries to strengthen their coordination and cooperation on strategic security issues, Dai said.
The two countries should also continue to support each other on safeguarding national sovereignty, territorial integrity and security and take the development road according to its national conditions, he said.
Dai also called on the two countries to continue to unite in safeguarding the purposes of the UN Charter and the norms of international relations, push forward a multi-polar world and the democratization of international relations, create peaceful and favorable conditions for the two countries’ development and promote tangible bilateral cooperation to provide solid material foundations for the development of China-Russia relations.
Guided by the consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders, China was willing to jointly endeavor with Russia to persistently boost the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, in order to benefit the two peoples and promote world peace and stability, Dai said.
Patrushev lauded the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, saying the two countries’ tangible cooperation and their strategic coordination had been fruitful.
He said the two countries held similar positions on many major issues and there was no obstacle to Russia-China ties.
The official also recalled Russian President Vladimir Putin’s successful state visit to China in June, saying the new consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders showed the way for further development of Russia-China relations.
Russia would like to work with China to further promote bilateral cooperation, strengthen communication and coordination on international and regional affairs through the use of the mechanism of strategic security talks, Patrushev said.
The two countries should also make the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination better serve each country’s development, safeguard regional and international security and stability, and build a more just and equitable international order, he said.
During the talks, the two sides also exchanged views on major international and regional affairs.
Dai left Beijing for the talks Sunday at the invitation of Patrushev.
He will also pay an official visit to Mongolia as guest of the Mongolian government.
Xinhua News Agency
August 20, 2012
Interview: Int’l unity crucial to end Syrian crisis: Assad advisor
BEIJING: Real political will from all sides is needed to end the 18-month Syrian crisis, a senior adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Bouthaina Shaaban, Assad’s special envoy and political and media advisor, said the reason a ceasefire didn’t happen despite UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan’s persistent efforts was the lack of real political will, especially on the Western countries’ side.
“The Western forces led by the U.S. say that they support the six-point plan of Kofi Annan, but in reality they support or they allow other countries also to support the armed groups with weapons and money,” Shaaban said.
“Hence, there is a contradiction in this,” Shaaban said, blaming Western countries for acting “exactly against the plan.”
To achieve solidarity in the international community over the Syrian issue, according to the 59-year-old former Syrian Minister of Expatriates, would depend on whether the West was ready to sit around the table with Russia and China, the two countries that “supported in word and in action the Kofi Annan plan.”
“We as Syria’s government are ready to engage in any dialogue. But it is the opposition who would not (be) ready and who all the time announce that they will not engage in a dialogue with the Syria government,” Shaaban said.
She urged Western powers to stop aiding the armed rebels and instead press them to start immediate dialogue with government forces.
“And if there is a political will on the Western countries’ side, then everybody will sit around the table and it will be easy to find a roadmap to get out of the Syria crisis,” she said.
On Thursday, Shaaban met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi here for talks, in which Yang urged both the Syrian government and the opposition to coordinate with international mediation efforts to end the crisis quickly.
Shaaban pledged the Syrian government was ready to work with relevant parties to seek ways for a ceasefire, and begin an inclusive dialogue with the opposition to promote a Syria-led political process and restore security and stability in the country.
On the U.N. mission in Syria, Shaaban said the Syrian government supported the UN role in Syria and any “formula” it wanted to employ.
It also supports veteran Algerian diplomat al-Akhdar al-Ibrahimi, who succeeds Annan as the new UN envoy to Syria, Shaaban said.
She stressed international coordination as a cornerstone for the UN mission in Syria to succeed.
“If you notice what al-Akhdar al-Ibrahimi said, that, in order to succeed, he needs the international community to agree on a course of action in Syria, and I agree with that, that the international community should agree on supporting mediation and supporting a political solution,” she said.
However, some Western and Arab nations were apparently “destabilizing Syria by providing money and armaments to armed groups who committed the most horrible crimes,” although they pledged support for Annan’s peace plan, she said.
She urged those countries to “truly support the UN mission,” like Russia, China, Iran and the Syrian government, to make it a success.
Asked whether there would be a no-fly zone over Syria, as some western countries proposed, Shaaban said that would be “considered as an aggression against Syria.
“Syria is a country that will not accept any aggression and will defend itself,” said Shaaban, who has served as Assad’s political and media adviser since 2008.
The envoy also denied any possibility of a no-fly zone established under a different guise in the future: “I don’t think so…And I hope this will never be agreed upon.”
On political reforms, Shaaban said the Syrian government is “pressing ahead with reforms, despite the fact that economic sanctions and armed rebels are of course making us pay a heavy price.”
“But no matter what happens in the country, we are pressing ahead with our reforms,” she said.