Russia, China veto UN resolution to refer Syria to ICC

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Russia and China have once again vetoed a Western-backed resolution at the UN Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court.

Moscow and Beijing used their veto power on Thursday for the fourth time to abort a resolution against Syria.

The document drafted by France accused both sides of the Syrian conflict of human rights violations and war crimes as well as crimes against humanity.

The resolution suggested that both the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the militants be tried at the ICC.

The other 13 members of the council voted in favor of the resolution.

Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari asked countries on Tuesday not to support the resolution, which he described as “biased” and an effort to “sabotage any chance of peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis led by the Syrian people themselves.”

On Wednesday, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin called the French-drafted resolution a “publicity stunt”.

“The fact that the resolution is going to a vote we regard as simply a publicity stunt, which will have a detrimental effect unfortunately on our joint efforts in trying to resolve politically the crisis in Syria,” he said.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. Over 160,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

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