The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a full-fledged observer mission for Syria with upto a total of 300 observers, based on a Russian draft resolution co-sponsored by China. The Indian statement in ‘explanation of vote’ by Ambassador Hardeep Puri reiterated India’s strong support for the mission of Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy.
Puri once again called for an “inclusive Syrian-led peace process”; adherence to the Annan plan by all parties; and an “impartial supervision and monitoring of the ceasefire.” Interestingly, this is the second time India stresses
the imperative of the UN observer team being “impartial”. The initial UN team that went in had Morocco, Brazil, Russia, Belgium, Norway.
Contrary to the western propaganda that the Syrian ceasefire is “fragile”, “not good”
and so on, the Indian statement expressed satisfaction that “Mr. Annan’s efforts over the past seven weeks have resulted in an improvement of the situation in Syria” and went on to estimate that the ceasefire of April 12 is holding and “has been observed by all parties in a large part of Syria.”
The Indian statement also calls on countries to “refrain from any action that may cause further bloodshed” — an implied criticism of the continuing outside interference. Meanwhile, it is just as well that India jumped out of the ‘Friends of Syria’
cabal in the nick of time.
The big question is whether India is going to be part of the observer mission. It all depends on the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon, who, of course, will want to hear from Washington first. Ban has invited Denmark, for sure
. No matter whether he invited China or whether Washington would want China in or out, Beijing has made an offer
to Ban to depute a team of Chinese observers that Ban will find difficult to refuse. In sum, 3 out of the five BRICS are ‘in’ already.