The Slovenia Times

Critical of Syria Resolution Veto


Speaking to the STA after the final day of the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, Jelušič said she shared the view of other participants of the conference, who she said were "extremely" critical of the veto.

Commenting on Russia's view that the resolution should condemn both the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the anti-government protesters, Jelušič said the demand was reminiscent of that Russia had in connection to the Kosovo conflict in 1998.

Then too none of the three proposed versions of a resolution was passed, because of Russia's view that revels too should be condemned, she said.

"We are witnessing the same attitude, which does not allow for measures of the international policy that come from the UN Security Council to condemn internal policy of a country."

If Russia allowed this, it would in a way allow for the international community to criticise Russia's internal policy too, Jelušič stated.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov maintained that the UN Security Council's task was to deal with conflicts among countries not within them, she added.

According to her, another problem is the lack of unity among defence ministers. "We all know there can be no peace operation in Syria without an internal agreement."

She believes the regime in Syria got a blank cheque when the West promised to all Arab leaders they will not be punished if they step down. Thus, the West enabled them to kill as many people as they want, she believes.

If they manage to win by force they will stay in power and if they kill everybody and realise they can no longer rule, they can withdraw without a punishment, she said.

Jelušič also shares the view of the conference that Lavrov may mend things for Russia during his meeting in Damascus scheduled for Tuesday. "After they obstructed the efforts of the international community, we now expect the Russians to at least tell Assad in person that his reign is over."

Jelušič also held several bilateral meetings on the margins of the 48th Munich Security Conference, including with her Croatian counterpart Ante Kotromanović.

The pair discussed the concept of "smart defence" or ways to make military capabilities more effective with less funds also through regional cooperation.

She said her colleagues from Austria were also very interested in such cooperation.

She also met the new Italian Defence Minister Giampaolo di Paolo, former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, who proposed a meeting with his Slovenian counterpart.

Slovenia and Italy have strong ties in defence, but it has been years since their defence ministers held a meeting, she said, adding that she supported the initiative.


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