Lebanon's Stance on U.N. Syria Vote Creates Controversyإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Lebanon’s decision to abstain from voting on the U.N. Security Council resolution against the Syrian regime triggered wide reactions locally, especially among the March 8 forces and the March 14-led opposition that strongly criticized it, An Nahar newspaper reported on Thursday.
Sources told the daily that the Foreign Ministry had directed Lebanon's Special Envoy to the U.N. Nawaf Salam to vote against the resolution, but urgent discussions among officials favored that Lebanon abstain from voting.
President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati agreed to detach Lebanon from the international decision to avoid any possible pressure by the Syrian regime or the international community, the sources noted.
Al-Liwaa newspaper reported that the contacts remained ongoing between the President, the PM and Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour before the Security Council’s meeting.
However, the Russian and Chinese vetoes were enough to block the resolution.
During Wednesday’s Security Council meeting on Syria, Salam said Lebanon decided to disassociate itself from the council statement condemning violence in Syria.
“Lebanon is committed to defend the sovereignty of (Syria) and the unity of its people… but in order to protect Lebanon’s unity and stability, it abstains from voting,” Salam said.
Nine countries voted late Tuesday in favor of the draft resolution which had called for "targeted measures" if Syrian President Bashar Assad pursues his clampdown, which the U.N. says has left at least 2,700 people dead.
Russia and China voted against, killing the resolution because of their veto powers as council permanent members.
South Africa, India, Brazil and Lebanon abstained, reaffirming a divide in the 15-member body since NATO launched air strikes in Libya using U.N. resolutions to justify the action.