China defends veto blocking Syria war crimes charges

Beijing said the UN resolution calling for ICC investigation into Syrian war crimes would have complicated the civil war.

China defends veto blocking Syria war crimes charges

World Bulletin / News Desk

China’s Foreign Ministry has said that a new resolution referring Syrian war crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which China vetoed, would only jeopardize a political settlement to the civil war.

Russia also vetoed Thursday the UN Security Council resolution calling for the ICC to investigate alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Syria.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, stressed at a briefing in Beijing that the move would only make it more difficult to solve the Syrian crisis.

He underlined the Beijing administration’s readiness to work with the “reasonable” concerns of all parties seeking a solution to the three-year conflict.

Wang Min, China’s envoy to the UN, had voiced a similar warning after the Security Council meeting.

“Under the current circumstances, to forcibly refer the situation of Syria to the ICC is neither conducive to building trust among all the parties in Syria, or to the early resumption of the negotiations in Geneva,” he said.

The UN resolution, drafted by France, was supported by more than 60 member states.

Amnesty International has called the veto by China and Russia “a callous political move that betrays the suffering people in Syria.”

“The resolution would have sent an important message that these horrific crimes cannot be committed with impunity,” Philip Luther of the Middle East and North Africa program at Amnesty International said Thursday.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the war and nine million Syrians are displaced with some 2.5 million seeking refuge in the neighboring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, according to the UN.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Mayıs 2014, 15:57