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India's position on Syria has been consistent: Ambassador Hardeep Puri


Amrita Tripathi,CNN-IBN
Jul 20, 2012 at 04:56pm IST

New York: The security council met to vote on yet another resolution calling for sanctions against Syria but was defeated when Russia and China used there veto. India voted for that resolution and CNN-IBN's Amrita Triphati spoke to India's UN envoy Hardeep Puri.

Here's the full transcript of the interview:

Amrita Tripathi: We're joined now by Ambassador Hardeep Puri for more on what happened at the UN Security Council today. If you could take us through India's position and also what the vetoing of this resolution means for Syria.

Hardeep Puri, India's Permanent Representative to UN: Our position on the evolving crisis in Syria has been consistent for the past 17-18 months. We have called upon the govt and opposition armed as it is to walk back from the violence to enter into inclusive, Syrian-led political process and try and find some basis to resolve these issues. In the present case this was an attempt made by the Council to try and get the resolution which would be broadly supportive of the Kofi Annan plan, and as you know the Annan plan is the only show in town. We have been strongly supportive of it. Absent the Annan plan there is no plan B. It was imperative that we needed the Council to be on one page, to send a unanimous message to President Assad and the armed Opposition to cooperate and walk back from the violence.

The joint special envoy Annan asked for such a resolution, we had no difficulty supporting it. It was not under article which involves possibility of military action. This was on threat of sanctions. Calling on authorities to comply, following which Council would look at certain measures.

What has happened is that Mr Annan had specifically be requested that a joint message be conveyed by the Council so the consequences of non-compliance could register.

It's unfortunate the Council could not agree. We had two vetoes.

The impact of the veto. It is not likely to be helpful. I'm apprehensive, the double veto will only exacerbate the situation on the ground.

Amrita Tripathi: Violence is continuing.

Ambassador Hardeep Puri: Not just continuing, is escalating. Attack on HQ of security establishment in Damascus yest demonstrates violence on a higher scale, more brutal than ever.

Amrita Tripathi: It's being seen as security council vs Russia and China – they've made strong statements, as have the US and UK today. Russia saying it comes down Geo-politics and Iran, what would India's reaction be.

Ambassador Hardeep Puri: I want to confine this to the issue that was before the security Council.

It's not a question of Security Council vs Russia and China, as they're perm members, but a rift within. Should this have been avoided? Personal position and majority of Council is yes, certainly. We should have made better efforts to use margins of persuasion. This is the third double veto in less than a year – Oct and Feb – very unfortunate. More unfortunate, the spiraling violence in Damascus, which international community doesn't have a coherent approach. Security Council which is expected to deal with this situation, finds itself with these vetoes. That is of very serious concern. It is entirely conceivable and a likely scenario that the unraveling of the situation in Syria will have ramifications in the region.

The resolution was vetoed, one of the operative parts of that was the extension of the mandate of UN supervisory mission in Syria. That expires tomorrow. Council will meet again to see if it can get what one draft resolution calls a technical roll-over or extension. Indian position is straight forward and uncomplicated, we think the Kofi Annan plan is the only show in town. We would like it to continue and the UN observers mission also. Another point of view advocated by countries, no point of observer mission without a role for them, others say try and get those. We're comfortable w both. We want to ensure the international community doesn't turn its back on Syria.

Possibility of change of heart, walk back from violence.

If along with vetoing of resolution this morning tomorrow the procedural resolution we are in more trouble.

The security council met to vote on sanctions against Syria but was defeated when Russia and China used there veto.

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