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Russia and China refuse to step up the pressure on Assad regime

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    The bloodshed continues, and hopes for UN peace plan fade as Syria bars Western ambassadors.

    Russia and China refused yesterday to harden their stance against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, even as the Syrian government threw out a handful of Western diplomats in another sign that the UN-brokered plan to end 14 months of bloodshed was disintegrating.

    During a visit by President Vladimir Putin to Beijing, Russia and China called for all sides in the conflict to observe the Kofi Annan peace plan, which has so far failed to stop the violence. Western leaders suggest that real change in Syria can come only if Mr Assad steps down, but Moscow has rejected calls for regime change and insists that Mr Annan's plan is the only way forward.

    "Both sides oppose external intervention in Syria and oppose regime change by force," said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman after Mr Putin met President Hu Jintao. "We believe ultimately the Syrian issue should be properly addressed through consultation among different parties in Syria." Mr Putin said: "Russia and China advocate for an equitable international order in which all nations work to deal with the dangers."

    Traditionally, Russia and China oppose sanctions and are strongly against armed intervention. There was anger in Moscow that the UN resolution on preventing civilian casualties in Libya was turned into the basis for a military intervention, and despite the international outrage over Syria, Russia is determined to avoid a repeat. But Moscow and Beijing's stance has hampered Western and Gulf nations who are pressing for tougher measures in the wake of 10,000 civilian deaths in Syria.

    Damascus announced yesterday that 17 ambassadors and other diplomats from Western nations and Turkey would not be welcome in the country. Most had already been withdrawn. The Foreign Office said it withdrew its diplomats from Damascus in March. Britain kicked out Syria's top diplomat in London last week in response to the Houla massacre, in which more than 100 died, including women and children.

    Syria's move yesterday was seen as diplomatic retaliation. It was a further blow to Mr Annan's blueprint for peace, and Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said yesterday that Gulf states are pessimistic that the plan can work.

    "We have begun to lose hope in the possibility of reaching a solution... within this framework," Prince Saud al-Faisal told reporters in Jeddah. "The UN Security Council is responsible for its duties... to take the appropriate measures to ensure the immediate application of the joint envoy's [plan], including resorting to Article 7 in the charter," he added, referring to a measure that could authorise the use of force.

    Syrian rebels say they are no longer bound by the Annan plan's ceasefire, as the government has failed to keep its side of the deal. Heavy fighting was reported in Latakia province yesterday.
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    The US frowns upon this lack of interest from China and Russia as it affects both their interests.
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    The Holy See find this bloodshed a tragedy and call on further aid for the Syrian people (and in fact those in Lebanon, who are no affected by the crisis).

    What are Lebanon doing to combat the issues now arising in their own country, and will there be any measures taken immediately to halt the slaughter?
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    The Czech Republic condemns Russia's and China's stance, and hopes that they will soon realise the full scale of the horror that is meeting the Syrian people.

    Of course we are not that surprised by their stance, given the dictatorial nature of their own governments.
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    Uruguay urges Russia and China to take a tougher stance against the Assad regime, and to think of the effects on the Syrian people rather than their own economic interests.
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    The Kingdom of Denmark feels fraught about the situation, keenly awaiting word from China and Russia regarding their unjustifiably self-serving stances.
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    Poland condemns Russia and China for their stance on Assad's regime. By vetoing further sanctions they are effectively supporting Assad's regime and the outrageous crimes and human rights abuses carried out by it. Poland encourages Russia and China to review their stance, and support any actions which are in the best interest for those suffering in Syria under its regime.
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    Switzerland condemns both Russia and China for their pathetic moves in this crisis. Russia has dabbled within the Middle East particularly Syria for some time. We firmly believe that Russia needs to get of its high horse and start helping the people of Syria. China also needs to do the same and both countries need to renew their stance.
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    The UK is unsurprised. Russia's arms trade with Syria is beautifully convenient for them; as such they're probably unconcerned that this Ba'ath tyrant is murdering his own people. The events in Syria are an atrocity to humanity and Russia and China need to wake up and realise that without their support for regime change, thousands more will die.
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    Well this is not a surprise, The EU urges Russia and China to wake up and smell the coffee
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    Iran continues to support the right of Russia and China to act how they see fit, and believes that they should not be forced to support the Syrian opposition terrorists by increased pressure from Western member states.

    Indonesia hopes that the UN Security Council can unite and work together to establish a road map for peace in Syria, and hopes the continuing bloodshed can be prevented with increased diplomacy and cooperation from all UN states.
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    Australia has done and will continue to condemn Russia and Chinas highly quesitonable and unethical stance on the matter.
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    Libya is appalled by Russia and China's willingness to support Assad as he massacres the Syrian people. We call upon other member states to follow our lead in recognising the Syrian National Council as the true government of Syria.
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    Belgium supports the statements issued by the nations above. Whilst external intervention is not always the solution to a country's internal problems, it strongly needs to be considered in the case of Syria due to the inefficacy of the Annan peace plan. We strongly urge China and Russia to change their stance immediately, to preserve the lives of civilians.
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    Mali calls for Russia and China to join the rest of the nations in demanding an end to the violence in Syria.
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    Qatar urges Russia & China to immediately support the Assad regime as much as they can to help cease the violence in Syria.
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    Pakistan opposes foreign intervention in the region and would like to know where the arms and support (& chaos) are coming from for these freedom fighters. If NATO (esp. US) are gungho about interfering with Russia's ally in the region (which gives port access to the warm waters of the Mediterranean) for liberating a country, then they should look into Kashmir where human rights abuses have taken place for decades.
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    As a nation recently liberated from a similar regime, Tunisia is dissapointed by this news.
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    (Original post by Djembe)
    Mali calls for Russia and China to join the rest of the nations in demanding an end to the violence in Syria.
    Nigeria agrees with her fellow African nation
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    The MHoC believes that Russian and Chinese pressure is the only way to stop the bloodshed and we urge them to do more to step up that pressure. However, we do support their stance of not getting involved militarily.


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