Hillary Clinton 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
PARIS - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged world powers on Friday to show Russia and China they would pay a price for impeding progress toward a democratic transition in Syria.
"It is frankly not enough just to come to the Friends of the Syrian People (meeting) because I will tell you very frankly, I don't think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all - nothing at all - for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime," Clinton said at a gathering of countries seeking to speed the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price because they are holding up progress - blockading it - (and) that is no longer tolerable."
Russia and China have in the past vetoed UN Security Council resolutions designed to pressure Assad, who has sought to crush a rebellion against his family's 42-year rule.
In her comments, Clinton repeated the US call for a Security Council resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows the council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.
US officials have repeatedly said in the case of Syria they are talking about sanctions and not military intervention.
"We should go back and ask for a resolution in the Security Council that imposes real and immediate consequences for noncompliance, including sanctions under Chapter 7," Clinton said. She also called for countries to better enforce existing bilateral sanctions on Syria.
"Let me also add that confronted with the regime's noncompliance, it is difficult to imagine how the UN supervision mission can fulfill its responsibilities without a Chapter 7 enforcement mechanism," she said. "It is clear unarmed observers cannot monitor a ceasefire that does not exist."
British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday echoed Clinton's call for increased action on Syria, saying that countries that do not impose sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad's government are effectively allowing killings to continue.
"There is no way of sitting on the sidelines on this," Hague told a meeting in Paris of the Western and Arab states that back a rebel uprising against Assad and want him out of power.
"If you don't impose sanctions and implement them thoroughly you are allowing the provision to the Assad regime of the means to go on killing the Syrian people," Hague said.