The United States strongly criticized China and Russia after these countries vetoed on Tuesday, July 7, a United Nations Security Council draft resolution that sought to prolong humanitarian aid to the Syrian population.
The initiative, supported by 13 members of the council, proposed extending for one year the mechanism of assistance given through one of the border crossings that the Arab nation shares with Turkey.
“It has never been clearer that Russia and China see the U.N. Security Council as just another tool to advance their narrow national agendas at the expense of millions of innocent Syrian women, children and men who do not have the means to feed, shelter or provide necessary medical care to their families,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said in an interview with Fox News.
The Syrian civil war began in 2011 and has left between 300,000 and 470,000 dead and has also been responsible for unleashing a massive humanitarian crisis that led to the displacement of 11 million people in a country that currently has 19 million inhabitants.
It is in this context that, according to the American media, almost 3 million Syrians have been surviving for six years thanks to the humanitarian aid sent by the United Nations.
“The United States and the other responsible members of the Security Council supported this compromise resolution,” Craft said.
The resolution was introduced by Germany and Belgium and was voted on by 13 council members. The only ones who opposed it were China and Russia, reason enough to veto it since any council resolution needs zero vetoes from the permanent members (Russia, China, the United States, France, and Britain).
Meanwhile, the Security Council is expected to vote on a Russian-driven resolution, which will allow only one border crossing for relief operations and will be in effect for only six months.
According to Reuters, this is not the first time that disagreements between the council’s permanent members regarding humanitarian aid shipments have been exposed.
In a similar vote, two more border crossings from Iraq and Jordan were proposed to be reopened, an initiative which was also opposed by Russia and China.
Washington has already imposed several sanctions on Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Ambassador Craft has asked the other members of the Security Council to reject the vetoes and demand the annulment of the vote.