Senator criticizes Russia, China abstention, reiterates concerns about Putin’s role in Syria amid need for political resolution to crisis
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Tuesday after the United Nations Security Council voted to renew UNSC Resolution 2165, which authorizes cross-border humanitarian assistance in Syria:
“Today’s decision by the UN Security Council was the right one, and I urge all friends of the Syrian people to do much more to ensure humanitarian access to besieged areas, particularly East Ghouta.
“I am disappointed that Russia, China and Bolivia abstained from voting rather than stand with the Syrian people who are in desperate need of life-saving assistance.
“With an estimated 13.1 million Syrians, or seven out of ten people, in need of some form of humanitarian assistance, the renewal of this resolution recognizes the critical role of cross-border assistance within the Syria humanitarian response and the grave humanitarian needs that still exist inside Syria. It also underscores the brutality of the Assad regime, which is starving, torturing, gassing, bombing and murdering its way to through Syria.
“President Putin cast Russia’s lot with the Assad regime in Damascus, and should now compel compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2165.
“While the Security Council action today is a promising step, it does not address the underlying conditions that are causing the humanitarian crisis in Syria. I urge Ambassador Haley and the Trump Administration to commit to a robust U.S. role in supporting UN-facilitated political talks in Geneva.”