US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius listen during a meeting of the so-called "Friends of the Syrian People" at the MFA Conference Center in Paris on July 6, 2012.
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned Russia and China over their support for Syria, saying they “will pay a price” for their actions.
During a so-called "Friends of the Syrian People" meeting in Paris on Friday, Clinton launched a scathing attack on Moscow and Beijing and called for pressure against both nations to drop their support for Damascus.
“I do not believe that Russia and China are paying any price at all - nothing at all - for standing up on behalf of the [Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime.”
“The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price,” Clinton warned.
Russia and China boycotted the latest "Friends of the Syrian People" meeting as one-sided.
“We have frankly laid out the reasons why we have restrained from joining the mechanism, the very name of which has a contradiction between the word and the deed,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this week.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Friday the West is operating within a friend-or-foe framework that he called outmoded.
“We categorically reject that such a question would even be posed regarding the current situation in Syria and Russia’s ‘backing’ of President Bashar Assad. This is not a question of supporting certain political figures or leaders. This is a question of managing a crisis situation in the country within a normal political framework,” Ryabkov said.
“Unfortunately, we’re unable to get a basic understanding from our Western partners. The West is still appealing to ‘friend-or-foe’ terms. We considered such terminology to be a thing of the past,” he explained.
The final statement of the Friends of the Syrian People meeting demanded the Syrian president to step down.
The demand by itself is in contradiction with an agreement reached last week in Geneva, where the world powers agreed to a transition government in which all sides could participate.