Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for a Chapter 7 U.N. Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on the Syrian government because of Syria's continued failure to comply with peace efforts by U.N.–Arab League Special Envoy Kofi Annan.
Speaking in Paris July 6 at the Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial Meeting, Clinton said it is also “difficult to imagine” how the U.N. mission that is in Syria to supervise Annan’s peace plan can fulfill its responsibilities without a Chapter 7 enforcement mechanism.
In the face of continued Syrian government noncompliance, “it is clear unarmed observers cannot monitor a cease-fire that does not exist,” she said.
“It is imperative to go back to the Security Council and demand implementation of Kofi Annan’s plan, including the Geneva communiqué that Russia and China have already agreed to,” Clinton said.
The communiqué calls for an end to the violence between Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the Syrian people, as well as the creation of a transitional governing body ahead of constitutional reform and free elections that could include members of the Syrian government and opposition groups and would be formed by mutual consent.
Despite Russia and China’s agreement, both countries have blocked previous efforts in the Security Council to address the violence, which has killed at least 9,000 since March 2011.
The international community needs to demand that Russia and China “get off the sidelines and begin to support the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” Clinton said.
“I don’t think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all — nothing at all — for standing up on behalf of the 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 because they are holding up progress — blockading it — that is no longer tolerable,” she said.
The secretary said Syria is becoming more isolated and sanctions are helping to limit Assad’s ability to finance his actions against the Syrian people.
“What’s keeping him afloat is money from Iran and assistance from Russia and the failure of countries represented here to tighten and enforce sanctions,” Clinton said, adding, “You cannot call for transition on the one hand and give the regime a free pass on sanctions on the other.”