Russia and China again veto Syria resolution

By Edith M. Lederer

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, July 19 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari blamed elements from al-Qaida and Arab and non-Arab jihadist and terrorist groups for the attacks.

He reiterated the Syrian government's support for Annan's mission and a Syrian-led national dialogue.

"However, it also requires a sincere international commitment and political will from all — especially those parties that have influence on the armed groups and the armed opposition," Ja'afari said. "Some countries are still bent on undermining any serious effort that seeks to solve the problem in Syria peacefully."

Churkin told the council he would not put Moscow's rival draft resolution to a vote to avoid continuing confrontation in the U.N.'s most powerful body. Moscow's proposal called for the "immediate implementation" of Annan's plan and guidelines for a political transition approved at a meeting in Geneva last month and would have extended the observer mission for 90 days but made no mention of sanctions.

Rice, the U.S. ambassador, said Churkin didn't call for a vote on his draft because he didn't have the minimum nine "yes" votes needed.

She said the U.S. might be prepared to consider a final brief extension of the observer mission "if it would allow for the monitors and the civilian staff to withdraw safely."

Rice stressed that the United States is not pinning its policy on the unarmed observer but will instead intensify its work "with a diverse range of partners outside the Security Council to bring pressure to bear on the Assad regime and to deliver assistance to those in need."

Associated Press Writer Peter James Spielmann contributed to this report from the United Nations.

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