While stating that both sides in the Syrian conflict violate human right, the UN fails to condemn the rebels and classify their actions as terrorism blaming one side for civilian casualties, Russia’s UN mission press secretary Maria Khodynskaya told RT.
The recent UN Security Council declaration on the siege of the
Syrian town of al-Qusair which was blocked by Russia basically
amounted to a demand for a ceasefire by government forces who are
fighting armed rebels, Maria Khodynskaya said, reiterating
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.
In the wake of the resolution adopted by the UN human rights
council, Khodynskaya criticized the international community for
failing to recognize both the Assad government and opposition
forces have committed grave human rights violations that have
cost human lives.
“If they are committed by both sides, which the commission of
inquiry stated, we have to condemn them all. Otherwise it has
nothing to do with human rights, it is pure politics and I would
say dirty politics,” she said.
RT: The UN accuses both the Syrian government and
rebels of war crimes but the majority of them on the government.
Is that fair?
Maria Khodynskaya: No it’s not, but that’s the short
answer. The long answer would be that both sides are violating
human rights. But it’s very important, when you talk about
something, to have all the information at your disposal. As you
know very well the commission of inquiry doesn’t have any access
to Syria so it basically collects the evidence from the states
around Syria. What really was first pointed out in this report
was that the commission didn’t qualify the terrible blasts that
took place in Syria as terror attacks. For us it’s very clear —
these are terror attacks. The second thing is that the commission
doesn’t criticize the negative economic impact of unilateral
economic sanctions that have been imposed on the Syrian people
and we know very well that the Syrian people suffer from these
economic restrictions. These are the main two points. There are
other points, of course, but we were quite happy by the fact that
the commission supported the political process in Syria and said
that this process needs to include the government and the
RT: What about the chemical weapons issue? The report
says the rebels could have used such weapons, just like the
government. If that’s confirmed will that change how the
international community deals with the conflict there?
MK: It was Carla Del Ponte as far as I remember, who first
mentioned the possibility chemical weapons were used by the
Syrian opposition. In fact, this information was not in the
report but what I would like to raise here is that it’s not for
the commission to verify who was behind this alleged chemical
RT: The fact is, though, that if chemical weapons have
been used, Obama said that would be a red line being crossed.
Would we not then see some escalation in international reaction,
no matter who is using the chemical weapons?
MK: Yes but I’d like to reiterate that the Syrian
government actually invited the investigation team from the UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit Syria and see what
happened there on May 19. The second thing, about the reaction of
the international community, I cannot speak for Mr Obama or any
other people. What I’d like to remind everyone is of what
happened in Iraq, so some members of the international community
shouldn’t repeat their mistakes.
RT: Are you referring to when the use of chemical
weapons was misreported?
MK: Everyone was searching for the weapons in Iraq, then
there was an intervention and it turns out there were no weapons.
RT: Everyone is seeking a political solution. What
would that involve, if all parties take negotiations
MK: The Syrian government, as you know, has agreed to
participate. As for the Syrian opposition, we have faced a huge
problem because they don’t have a unified delegation that is
going to come here and talk. This is going to be settled somehow.
I really hope our partners are working with the Syrian
opposition. For a political solution, first of all, true
negotiations have to start and then what we’ll see is then
continuation of Geneva communiquÃ© that will be part of the
solution. What do we mean by continuation of Geneva
communiquÃ©? A cease fire, then a transitional government and
other things mentioned by the Geneva communiquÃ©.
RT: Just one issue I want to ask you about, finally.
It’s caused a lot of consternation and dismay by much of the
international community — that is what Moscow recently brought to
the UN Security Council on the siege of the town of Qusair saying
that the regime is conducting a counter-terrorist operation
there. Now, the fact that it blocked the UN Security Council
declaration, it’s understandable that people react in that way.
Was it the right decision? Why did it come to that decision?
MK: Well of course it was the right decision and I’ll try
to explain it to you. First I would like to remind you that here,
just a few days ago, we had the resolution on Qusair. Here we
couldn’t block it, but let’s look at it this way: If we are the
human rights council, if we are the international community we
have to condemn the violations from both sides. If they are
committed by both sides, which the commission of inquiry stated,
we have to condemn them all. Otherwise it has nothing to do with
human rights, it is pure politics and I would say dirty politics.
In this resolution with the human rights council all of the blame
of what happened at Qusair, in general, was on the government of
Syria. We don’t know what’s actually happening at Qusair, so
before we say something we need to confirm what is going on.
RT: The reports are strongly saying innocent people are
being caught up in all of this and it’s basically a humanitarian
disaster. That’s why something has to be done.
MK: Exactly. But we would be against condemning both sides
or, you know, saying we are concerned at Qusair. But who is
blamed for everything that is happening there? The Syrian
government, but we know very well what the opposition is doing:
It’s rape, it’s torture, it’s summary executions. People eat
other people’s hearts. I mean, really, what they are doing is
something terrible. So the international community has to step up
and talk about what’s done by both sides, not what’s done by only
one side otherwise there is nothing about human rights here.
This article originally appeared on: RT