Shaaban Lauds Russia, China Vetoes as Moscow to Host Syria Opposition Council
Vetoes by Russia and China of a U.N. Security Council resolution against Syria marked a "historic day," President Bashar Assad's aide Bouthaina Shaaban told AFP on Wednesday.
"This is a historical day that Russia and China as nations are standing for the people and against injustices," Shaaban said after the veto of the resolution, which had called for "targeted measures" against Syria if Assad's regime pursued its deadly crackdown on protests.
"I think that all the Syrians are happy that now there are other powers in the world to stand against hegemony, against military interference in the affairs of countries and people," she said.
"I feel that the veto that Russia and China have used, of course with our thanks to Russia and China, is a veto that stands with the Syrian people and gives the time for us to enforce and enhance reforms," she said.
Shaaban said the council's decision not to threaten punitive action gave space for Damascus to carry out promised reforms and "reach political pluralism without having to suffer, hopefully, from what Iraq had suffered or Libya suffers or Pakistan and Afghanistan has suffered."
"I feel that the future is Russia and China and the East," she said.
"That is the future and I am very happy with that, because we had enough of colonization from the West."
Russia had proposed an alternative resolution, which condemns the opposition violence as well as that of the government and calls for dialogue to end the crisis, although Western powers refused to back it.
Meanwhile, Russia will receive a delegation from Syria's opposition council in the foreign ministry in October, ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Wednesday.
"In October we intend to receive in Moscow two Syrian opposition delegations: one from the domestic wing of the opposition based in Damascus, and the second from those who declared the so-called national council," Lukashevich told journalists in televised remarks.
Although officially invited to attend a public function, they "will be received at the foreign ministry", Lukashevich said without revealing the exact date of the visit.
"Attempts to turn what happened with Security Council decisions on Libya into some kind of model for the western coalition and NATO... of reacting to crises: that is an absolutely unacceptable model for Russia," Lukashevich said.
Russia and China previously abstained on the U.N. Security Council resolution that paved the way for western intervention in Libya, but later criticized the scope of the air raids and casualties in the conflict aimed to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power.