White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said China and Russia “are on the wrong side of history” after the two countries earlier on Thursday vetoed a U.N. Security Council effort to press for tougher sanctions against the Bashar a-Assad’s regime in Syria.
“The decision by a very small minority of the Security Council to veto this action is deplorable and regrettable,” Carney said. He urged the international community to “come together to do everything we can to bring about a future that does not include Bashar al-Assad.”
But Carney confirmed that the Obama administration won’t back extending the U.N. Supervisory Mission in Syria, whose mandate expires at the end of Friday. Carney said that U.N. plan—spearheaded by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anna—had failed.
He added that China and Russia’s decision are “very regrettable,” “deplorable” and “highly unfortunate.” because it is absurd to send forth unarmed UN observers in the face of the brutality of the Assad regime if the consequences of failing to live up to … the Assad regime’s commitments are nonexistent. There have to be consequences.
Obama called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday as violence in Syria escalated to a point of near chaos as the capital city of Damascus endured some of the most intense clashes since the uprising began 17 months ago.
The vetoes were not much of a surprise as both China and Russia—allies of the Assad regime—had expressed their opposition to the resolution. Two other countries, Pakistan and South Africa, abstained.
But the Obama administration made their disappointment known about the decision.
“The Security Council has failed utterly in its most important task on its agenda this year,” Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the council after the vote. “The first two vetoes were very destructive. This veto is even more dangerous and deplorable.”
Carney added that China and Russia’s decisions will have repercussions in how they are viewed by Syrian people in the long-term “because there is no doubt that Syria’s future will not include Bashar al-Assad.”
“His days are numbered, and it’s a mistake to prop up the regime as it comes to an end,” Carney said.