“At a time when the situation in Syria is acquiring more tragic dimensions each day, it is disappointing that the [United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria] UNSMIS draft resolution, which was on the UN Security Council's agenda, did not pass with two votes against, 11 votes in favor and two abstentions, and the fact that a draft resolution on Syria was vetoed for the third time,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on Friday.
“Unfortunately, the Security Council was not able to fulfill its responsibility yet again on an issue that threatens international peace and security,” the statement noted. The ministry added that Turkey wished the UN Security Council would redress such a mistake, and that a legitimate administration of peace could be established in Syria as soon as possible.
“As long as this is not achieved, it will not be possible to re-establish peace and security in Syria and in the region. Syria stands at a historic turning point. The international community should stand side by side with the people of Syria at this critical juncture and ensure that steps enabling an orderly transition in line with the flow of history are resolutely taken,” the statement said.
Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN Security Council resolution on Thursday that threatened Syrian authorities with sanctions under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter if they did not stop using heavy weapons against the uprising and withdraw troops from towns and cities.
It is the third time that Russia, a key ally of the Syrian government, and China have used their veto power to block UN Security Council resolutions designed to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and halt violence in the 17-month conflict that has killed thousands of people. The vetoed resolution, which would have extended a UN observer mission in Syria for 45 days, received 11 votes in favor, while South Africa and Pakistan abstained.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Moscow ahead of the UN Security Council vote to discuss Syria but, in a sign of unresolved differences, both Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke extensively about their governments' commitment to expanding economic cooperation at a joint news conference and commented only briefly on Syria.
Responding to questioning about talks in Moscow, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters on Thursday evening that the meeting should not be represented as an “attempt to convince Russia” to revise its pro-Assad stance.
“What we think is appropriate is the establishment of a new administration in Syria that respects the will of the Syrian people and has popular support. Russia also supports, in principle, such a perspective,” Davutoğlu said. “We discussed alternatives as to what methods should be used [to achieve such a goal],” added Davutoğlu.
Turkish newspapers reported on Friday that Erdoğan had proposed the establishment of a council to oversee political transition in Syria following the departure of Assad during talks with Putin. This council, similar to Egypt's transitional council, would be composed of figures from the current Baath administration that have not been involved in violence, as well as representatives of the opposition and the army, the Sabah daily reported. Sabah did not mention any names of participants or a potential leader of this transitional council, but another report, published in Akşam newspaper, claimed the Turkish side had proposed Manaf Tlas, a Syrian general who fled the country earlier this month, as transitional leader.