Norway unhappy with Russia and China over Syria

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The Norwegian government is holding Russia and China “especially” responsible for preventing the UN Security Council from making serious attempts to halt the violence and killings in Syria. The Norwegian military expert who’s been leading UN forces in Syria, meanwhile, felt forced to leave the embattled country.

Major General Robert Mood left Damascus for Geneva on Thursday after Russia and China refused to go along with a UN Security Council resolution that condemned the violence in Syria, demanded adherence to UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point plan for peace, and cleared the way for sanctions against the Syrian government. “It hurts me to say it, but we aren’t on a path to peace in Syria,” Mood told reporters, pointing to “the escalation (of violence) we’ve seen in Damascus in recent days.”

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre called it “unfortunate” that all members of the UN Security Council wouldn’t agree on the resolution about Syria. While 11 members supported the resolution, both Russia and China vetoed it. Pakistan and South Africa abstained.

“The civil war in Syria is escalating, independent of the diplomatic efforts,” Støre said “That puts a special responsibility on the two countries that laid down the vetoes, for the inability (of the Security Council) to act.”

Støre also stressed the need to extend humanitarian aid to refugees from the war and others in need.

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