United Nations: India
has abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution
threatening sanctions against Syria, which was blocked by Russia
and China using their veto power.
India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Puri,
announcing the abstention, said the resolution before the Security
Council "does not accommodate our concerns about threat of
"It does not condemn the violence perpetrated by the Syrian
opposition. Nor does it place any responsibility on the opposition
to abjure violence and engage with the Syrian authorities for
redressal of their grievances through a peaceful political
process," he said, explaining India's decision to keep away from
Prepared by the European members of the UN Security Council and
supported by the US, the resolution stipulated that Syrian
President Bashar Assad's regime should face the possibility of
tough sanctions if it fails to stop its crackdown on opposition
within 30 days of the adoption of the resolution.
The resolution was rejected late Tuesday by a 9-2 vote, with four
abstentions, including India.
"India remains concerned at the unfolding events in Syria that
have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and security
force personnel. We deplore all violence irrespective of who its
perpetrators are," Puri said.
He said India recognised the responsibility of all states to
respect the fundamental rights of their people, address their
legitimate aspirations and respond to their grievances through
administrative, political, economic and other measures.
"At the same time, states also have the obligation to protect
their citizens from armed groups and militants. While the right of
the people to protest peacefully is to be respected, states cannot
but take appropriate action when militant groups, heavily armed,
resort to violence against state authority and infrastructure,"
Pointing to the complexity of ground realities in Syria, Puri said
India believed engaging Syria in a collaborative and constructive
dialogue and partnership was the only pragmatic and productive way
India has, in both bilateral engagements and through the IBSA
initiative, urged the Syrian government to exercise restraint,
abjure violence and pay heed to the aspirations of their people,
Asking the international community to give time and space for the
Syrian government to implement the far-reaching reform measures
announced by them, Puri said: "For this, it is also necessary that
the opposition forces in Syria give up the path of armed
insurrection and engage constructively with the authorities."
India firmly believed that the actions of the international
community should facilitate an engagement of the Syrian government
and the opposition in a Syrian-led inclusive political process and
not complicate the situation by threats of sanctions and regime
change, he added.
The UN says over 2,000 people have died since the start of the
protests in March.
On Sep 21, US President Barack Obama urged the Security Council to
impose new sanctions against Syria over its crackdown on