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The Globe and Mail

Canada 'disappointed' in Syria resolution's demise, Baird says

Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird speaks at the annual 'Herzliya Conference' in the central Israeli city of Herzliya, near Tel Aviv January 30, 2012.


Canada is "disappointed in the extreme" after Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to deal with the escalating violence in Syria.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the failure by the council to effectively respond to the crisis in the Middle Eastern country is "yet another free pass for the illegitimate Assad regime and those backing it."

Russia and China vetoed a resolution today which backs an Arab League plan calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

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Mr. Baird says the "paralysis of power" is especially deplorable as it comes amid escalating violence in Syria, which Canada condemns.

He says those attempting to cling to power in Syria are "morally bankrupt" and that Canada will stand with the people of Syria in their efforts to achieve a brighter future.

Activists in Syria say government forces have killed more than 200 people in the city of Homs as part of the violent crackdown against those protesting against Mr. al-Assad's rule.

Mr. al-Assad's regime has denied the assault, calling the reports part of a "hysterical campaign" of incitement by armed groups against the government aimed at a pressuring the United Nations to act.

Meanwhile, the Syrian embassy in Ottawa has been splashed with red paint in an apparent act of vandalism.

RCMP Constable Julie Morel says the Mounties are investigating after the embassy's front door, sign and canopy were splattered with bright red paint.

An anti-Syrian government protest took place in front of the embassy earlier Saturday, but police say it was peaceful and there is no apparent link between the event and the vandalism.

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