Disturbed over an explicit reference to the regime change in Syria, India abstained from voting on a UN General Assembly motion which severely criticised the Syrian government for the killings in the violence-torn Middle-eastern nation.
The Arab League-backed resolution was passed on Friday by 133 countries, with just 12 countries voting against it. But there were also a substantial number of 31 abstentions. Interestingly, the two members of the IBSA group, Brazil and South Africa voted in its favour.
According to the resolution, it was up to Damascus to initiate steps for the cessation of hostilities in the country. And it flayed the attacks on civilians, including children, by the Syrian government, military intelligence services and the militias, as well as the “killing and maiming, arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and ill-treatment, including sexual violence, and use of human shields.”
Sponsored by the Arab League and the West, the resolution garnered more votes than expected as it had diluted the wording of the original text asking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. But, it still retained a reference stating that it welcomed “relevant decisions of the League of Arab states, including its resolution of 22 July 2012”.