Russia and China warned against outside military intervention in Syria following the massacre of more than 100 people in the town of Houla that has been blamed by Western countries on regime-backed militia.
“To raise the possibility of some kind of military intervention is more the result of political emotions than careful consideration,” Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov told reporters today in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat.
Russia will use its veto in the United Nations Security Council to block authorization for any military action in Syria, Interfax reported, citing Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov. China, which also holds a veto, opposes military intervention and regime change by force, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a briefing in Beijing today. Russia and China have blocked UN action against their ally Syria over the 14-month conflict.
French President Francois Hollande didn’t rule out military intervention in Syria, saying yesterday it would require approval from the UN Security Council.
Speaking in a France2 television interview, Hollande said he still wants a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis and that he’ll seek to convince Russia and China to back stronger sanctions. Hollande meets Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 1 in Paris.
The U.S. and its allies yesterday expelled Syrian diplomats to condemn the massacre of women and children in Houla.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told UN special envoy Kofi Annan that an “objective and impartial” inquiry must be conducted into the killings. Syrian President Bashar al- Assad’s forces and foreign-backed rebels are both to blame, Lavrov said a day earlier after talks in Moscow with his U.K. counterpart William Hague.
China believes the “incident” in Houla must be investigated at once and the perpetrators held accountable, Liu said.
To contact the reporters on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at email@example.com; Stepan Kravchenko in Ashgabat at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at email@example.com