News24

UK appeals to China, Russia over Syria

2012-06-30 11:03

Geneva - British Foreign Minister William Hague urged Russia and China to agree with Western powers on a political transition plan for Syria at a crisis meeting on Saturday but said the talks would be very difficult.

"There is an opportunity for the international community to be much stronger and act more robustly but we can only do it with the agreement of Russia and China," he told reporters as he arrived for the talks at the United Nations in Geneva.

Foreign ministers from Western powers and Arab countries are attending a meeting convened by international mediator Kofi Annan in Geneva to try forge a common strategy to end the 16 month-old conflict in Syria but differences over the fate of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad may thwart them.

"It has always been our view that a stable future for Syria, a stable political process means Assad leaving power as part of an agreement on transitional process," Hague said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks on Friday night in St Petersburg with Russian Foreign Minsiter Sergei Lavrov but failed to resolve differences.

Russia, Assad's main ally, insists that any transition plan must not be imposed on Syria by foreign powers.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, arriving for the talks, said: "It is absolutely essential that the violence stops and that a political transition can begin. Kofi Annan made reasonable propositions and I hope that they will be upheld and that's the point of today's discussions."

Comments
  • chris.kleynhans - 2012-06-30 11:51

    Me thinks China and Russia's confidence in the west was shaken by what happened in Libya....

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-30 12:21

      Chris, WHY ?? China got what it wanted; a secure oil supply, today being Libya's largest oil custumer ! ( And these slimy Chinese did not lift one finger !!!! ) Russia has no interest in any country in Africa, they possibly don't like Africans. If one listens to Black Africans, studying in Russia, they are the biggest and filthiest racists in the world.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-30 12:26

      Ohhh, sorry, forgot; The Russians do have an interest in Africa; In places like Cape Town, they control the drug trade and brothels, and the local mafia!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-30 15:51

      What would have happened had the world not intervened? Answer: Syria.

  • Hermann - 2012-06-30 12:32

    The West is wasting its time appealing - in Russia and China lives are worth as much as in a South African crime scene, especially on the farms and in the shebeens - life=nothing.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-30 15:40

    "There is an opportunity for the international community to be much stronger and act more robustly but we can only do it with the agreement of Russia and China," he [Hague] told reporters as he arrived for the talks at the United Nations in Geneva. This really says it all. The freer world is choosing to be weak. Unconscionable.

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