Russia and China on Saturday vetoed a Western-Arab U.N. Security Council resolution backing an Arab League plan for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. The other 13 council members backed the resolution, which would have said that the council "fully supports" the Arab League plan aimed at ending 11 months of bloodshed as Syria has sought to crush an anti-Assad uprising.
Mohammed Loulichki, the U.N. ambassador of Morocco, the Arab member of the 15-nation council, expressed his "great regret and disappointment" that Moscow and Beijing struck down the resolution.
American Ambassador Susan Rice stated she was "disgusted" by the Russian and Chinese veto, adding that "any further bloodshed that flows will be on their hands."
French Ambassador Gerard Araud told the council, "It is a sad day for this council, a sad day for all Syrians, and a sad day for democracy." He said Moscow and Beijing were now "complicit in the policy of repression" of Damascus.
The Russian FM Lavrov is expected to arrive in Damascus next week and meet the Syrian president.