‘UN’s dirty politics against Syria has nothing to do with human rights’

While stating that both sides in the Syrian conflict violate human right, the UN fails to condemn the rebels and classify their actions as terrorism blaming one side for civilian casualties, Russia’s UN mission press secretary Maria Khodynskaya told RT.

The recent UN Security Council declaration on the siege of the Syrian town of al-Qusair which was blocked by Russia basically amounted to a demand for a ceasefire by government forces who are fighting armed rebels, Maria Khodynskaya said, reiterating Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

In the wake of the resolution adopted by the UN human rights council, Khodynskaya criticized the international community for failing to recognize both the Assad government and opposition forces have committed grave human rights violations that have cost human lives.

“If they are committed by both sides, which the commission of inquiry stated, we have to condemn them all. Otherwise it has nothing to do with human rights, it is pure politics and I would say dirty politics,” she said.

RT:The UN accuses both the Syrian government and rebels of war crimes but the majority of them on the government. Is that fair?

Maria Khodynskaya: No it’s not, but that’s the short answer. The long answer would be that both sides are violating human rights. But it’s very important, when you talk about something, to have all the information at your disposal. As you know very well the commission of inquiry doesn’t have any access to Syria so it basically collects the evidence from the states around Syria. What really was first pointed out in this report was that the commission didn’t qualify the terrible blasts that took place in Syria as terror attacks. For us it’s very clear – these are terror attacks. The second thing is that the commission doesn’t criticize the negative economic impact of unilateral economic sanctions that have been imposed on the Syrian people and we know very well that the Syrian people suffer from these economic restrictions. These are the main two points. There are other points, of course, but we were quite happy by the fact that the commission supported the political process in Syria and said that this process needs to include the government and the opposition.

RT:What about the chemical weapons issue? The report says the rebels could have used such weapons, just like the government. If that’s confirmed will that change how the international community deals with the conflict there?

MK: It was Carla Del Ponte as far as I remember, who first mentioned the possibility chemical weapons were used by the Syrian opposition. In fact, this information was not in the report but what I would like to raise here is that it’s not for the commission to verify who was behind this alleged chemical attacks.

RT:The fact is, though, that if chemical weapons have been used, Obama said that would be a red line being crossed. Would we not then see some escalation in international reaction, no matter who is using the chemical weapons?

MK: Yes but I’d like to reiterate that the Syrian government actually invited the investigation team from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit Syria and see what happened there on May 19. The second thing, about the reaction of the international community, I cannot speak for Mr Obama or any other people. What I’d like to remind everyone is of what happened in Iraq, so some members of the international community shouldn’t repeat their mistakes.

RT:Are you referring to when the use of chemical weapons was misreported?

MK: Everyone was searching for the weapons in Iraq, then there was an intervention and it turns out there were no weapons.

RT:Everyone is seeking a political solution. What would that involve, if all parties take negotiations seriously?

MK: The Syrian government, as you know, has agreed to participate. As for the Syrian opposition, we have faced a huge problem because they don’t have a unified delegation that is going to come here and talk. This is going to be settled somehow. I really hope our partners are working with the Syrian opposition. For a political solution, first of all, true negotiations have to start and then what we’ll see is then continuation of Geneva communiqué that will be part of the solution.  What do we mean by continuation of Geneva communiqué? A cease fire, then a transitional government and other things mentioned by the Geneva communiqué.

RT:Just one issue I want to ask you about, finally. It’s caused a lot of consternation and dismay by much of the international community – that is what Moscow recently brought to the UN Security Council on the siege of the town of Qusair saying that the regime is conducting a counter-terrorist operation there. Now, the fact that it blocked the UN Security Council declaration, it’s understandable that people react in that way. Was it the right decision? Why did it come to that decision?

MK: Well of course it was the right decision and I’ll try to explain it to you. First I would like to remind you that here, just a few days ago, we had the resolution on Qusair. Here we couldn’t block it, but let’s look at it this way: If we are the human rights council, if we are the international community we have to condemn the violations from both sides. If they are committed by both sides, which the commission of inquiry stated, we have to condemn them all. Otherwise it has nothing to do with human rights, it is pure politics and I would say dirty politics. In this resolution with the human rights council all of the blame of what happened at Qusair, in general, was on the government of Syria. We don’t know what’s actually happening at Qusair, so before we say something we need to confirm what is going on.

RT:The reports are strongly saying innocent people are being caught up in all of this and it’s basically a humanitarian disaster. That’s why something has to be done.

MK: Exactly. But we would be against condemning both sides or, you know, saying we are concerned at Qusair. But who is blamed for everything that is happening there? The Syrian government, but we know very well what the opposition is doing: It’s rape, it’s torture, it’s summary executions. People eat other people’s hearts. I mean, really, what they are doing is something terrible. So the international community has to step up and talk about what’s done by both sides, not what’s done by only one side otherwise there is nothing about human rights here.