25 Feb 2012

Clinton blasts Russia, China for opposing UN action on Syria

6:41 pm on 25 February 2012

American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has launched a withering attack on Russia and China for opposing United Nations action on Syria while people are being killed by the army.

She also implied that Russia has blood on its hands for supplying weapons to Syria.

Mrs Clinton was speaking at a news briefing following a summit with world leaders in Tunisia for friends of Syria.

The Red Cross had earlier begun to move women, children and the wounded from part of the besieged Syrian city of Homs.

The BBC reports Red Crescent ambulances drove into the suburb of Baba Amr, which has been under heavy attack, after negotiations earlier in the day.

Wounded journalists are among those awaiting rescue, but the Red Cross has not made clear if they are among the evacuees.

Homs has been under artillery attack for two weeks.

The Red Cross says the situation there was getting worse by the hour.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague earlier said terrible crimes were being committed in Homs.

Conference pledges

An international meeting on Syria ended in Tunisia on Friday with pledges to further isolate the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Foreign ministers from more than 70 countries also voted to recognise the Syrian National Council as the official voice of the people.

The BBC reports they demanded a ceasefire and called for humanitarian access and delivery of relief supplies.

After the meeting, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States and others will go back to the United Nations to try to get measures against the Syrian regime through the Security Council.

An earlier proposal calling on President Assad to stand down was blocked by China and Russia. Neither country attended the conference.