As the UN Security Council predictably rejected both French and Russian rival resolutions on Syria, RT discussed with experts why it happened and how damaging this will be for the Syrian peace process.The Russian and French rival draft resolutions on the Syrian crisis have been vetoed at the UN Security council. It was an outcome that the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, predicted ahead of the vote.
Unfortunately, diplomacy did not always prevail. When Syria’s envoy, Bashar Jaafari, was given the floor, representatives of a number of countries, including the US and UK, left the meeting.
Jaafari commented on their departure, saying they did not want to hear “words of truth”.
RT: Why do you think France put forward the draft resolution even though Russia made it clear it would veto it?
Sara Flounders, head of antiwar think-tank International Action Center: Really all of this is maneuvering. There are obviously two sides in this struggle. You have the US – with great assistance from France, Britain, the EU – absolutely backing up the effort to overturn the government in Syria – an absolutely illegal violation of the Security Council and their bombing in Syria is really to try to destroy Syria; it is not to push back ISIS and it hasn’t been to push back ISIS. So, you have two resolutions: One is window dressing to cover the US and EU role, and the other put forth by Russia to really show who has stopped any resolution. By calling for which was agreed earlier, that the so-called moderate forces would be separated from Al-Nusra, the terrorist forces. And you can’t do that because in essence they really are the same. So, that resolution was pushed back by the US and members of the Security Council that are aligned with the US. It just confirms that there are two sides and it is very dangerous for the people of the entire world and of course the people of Syria.
Franco Frattini, former Italian Foreign Minister, currently President of the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI) commented on the UN Security Council rejection of both French and Russian rival resolutions on Syria: “First of all, it is a missed opportunity. We should have approved a comprehensive resolution to go rapidly towards a political process for the solution in Syria. This is the precondition to succeed – political process. And apparently both America and the Russian Federation say we want a political process. The problem and frankly speaking a mistake mistake of the Western coalition is not highlighting the distinction between the so-called moderate rebels and not all the terrorist groups because there is an agreement on ISIS but Al-Nusra. There is a shadow position over the inclusion or not of Al-Nusra in the targets. Al-Nusra should be one of the targets.”
RT: As we heard, several members were unwilling to sit in the same room as the Syrian envoy. How damaging is this for the peace process?
SF: That certainly sends a message that the agenda remains the same: to overturn the government of Syria. And if the US were to succeed in that we could only ask who is next. Because they are not likely to be appeased by this. Them walking out when the Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, it really shows their disdain for any real negotiated process and their determination to continue with military measures and to continue to support the fanatical and terrorist forces that they have brought to life, they have armed and trained and financed. They have done it directly and through Saudi Arabia, through Israel and through Turkey. This is really a criminal enterprise and it is a threat to the world.
‘West does not seek peace in Syria’
RT: As Vitaly Churkin said, it was clear even before the draft resolutions were put forward that neither would be approved. So why do you think they went ahead with the vote?
Abayomi Azikiwe: This is a method of continuing the dialogue in this international forum around Syria. But the two positions are diametrically opposed. The Russians luckily enough learned enormous lessons from the war five years ago against Libya. They were able to get a UN Security Council resolution, two of them, on March 2011 which in fact was used as a pseudo-legal rational for the massive bombing campaign against Libya. The world is still living today with the impact of that war that continues all across Libya. The situation in Syria is dire. Millions of people displaced, millions of them also have left the country. So, this points out – particularly with the French resolution that the British and the French supported – it shows clearly that the Western powers do not want peace in Syria. The only peace they want is one in which they achieve their strategic objectives, and that is regime change in Damascus.
RT: The Russian draft focused on getting al-Nusra terrorists out of Aleppo to allow peace talks to happen. Why do you think western powers objected to that plan?
AA: Objectively, they have the same goals as Jabhat al Nusra and the other armed extremist organizations that are fighting against the government and Damascus, but they want to overthrow the government of President Bashar Al-Assad. That is their strategic objective in Syria. The US agrees with the opposition, although they cannot come out openly and state that their objectives and the objectives of Jabhat al Nusra and the other extremist organizations are in fact co-determinist. This is the problem when you have this type of split within the UN Security Council, because the US through its own behavior illustrates clearly that they are totally opposed any type of long-term political settlement in Syria. They get up and walk out when the Syrian ambassador Jaafari speaks to the Security Council. This is a clear illustration they do not recognize the government in Damascus.
For the last five and a half years, the US has been backing these opposition organizations in Syria. They have not been successful in toppling the government, but they have been successful in bringing about a lot of social distress and a lot of displacement. And this of course is spilling out beyond the boundaries and borders of Syria itself. But they do not want peace in that country for the simple fact that it will not coincide with what their ultimate objectives are: They want to get rid of the government in Damascus as a gateway of putting more pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as weakening the foreign and diplomatic efforts of the Russian Federation.
This is an (…) international clash of various geopolitical interests that are surrounding the nation of Syria and it will continue until the siege of Aleppo by these armed extremist organizations is completely broken. We see that they accuse Russia in Syria of accusing atrocities, but they say nothing about the organizations they are supporting openly and clandestinely on the ground, and who are creating the situation for all this displacement and disorder in Syria.