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Thomas-Greenfield Slams China and Russia’s Decision to Block US-Led Resolution on the War in The Middle East 

On Friday, the UN Security Council dismissed a new US draft resolution, calling for an “immediate and sustained cease-fire” in Gaza contingent on the release of the remaining hostages being held by Hamas.

The UN Security Council convenes at the UN headquarters in New York to vote on a resolution regarding a ceasefire in Gaza and hostage deal, on 22 March, 2024. (Source – AFP)

The failed resolution comes after China and Russia, permanent members of the council, decided to exercise its veto. The final vote tally showed 11 in favour of the resolution, three against from Russia, China, and Algeria and one abstention by Guyana. 

The resolution marked a significant change for the US, which had previously opposed any calls for a cease-fire. However, the proposal linked a cease-fire and humanitarian aid efforts in Gaza to the condition of the release of all captives still being held by Hamas.

US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, defended the resolution, asserting, “Each day without a resolution means more unnecessary suffering. This resolution brings us closer to reaching an agreement and alleviating that suffering. It’s a robust resolution resulting from thorough and inclusive negotiations, reflecting the consensus of the council.”

“And it does more than just call for a cease-fire,” she added. “It helps to make that cease-fire possible. It would be a historic mistake for the council to not adopt this text.” 

Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebensya, votes against a US ceasefire resolution during a UN Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters, 22 March, 2024, in New York. (Source – Getty Images)

Thomas-Greenfield slammed Russia and China for voting against the resolution, accusing them both of being “petty.” 

“And now, Russia and China will give you all sorts of explanations for its obstruction. But whether or not it will admit it, there are two deeply, deeply cynical reasons behind its vote.

 “Russia and China refuse to condemn Hamas for burning people alive, for gunning down innocent civilians at a concert, for raping women and girls, for taking hundreds of people hostage. This was the deadliest single attack on Jews since the Holocaust. And a permanent member of this Council can’t even condemn it? I’m sorry, it’s really outrageous, and it’s below the dignity of this body”.

“The second reason behind this veto is not just cynical, it’s also petty. Russia and China simply did not want to vote for a resolution that was penned by the United States, because it would rather see us fail than to see this Council succeed, even after inclusive consultations over weeks and weeks. Even after negotiations and edits produced a draft that received overwhelming Council support”.

Following Hamas’ 07 October attacks claiming 1,200 lives, with 250 individuals abducted, an estimated 100 are believed to still be held in captivity in Gaza.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated progress in negotiations for a cease-fire this week, although challenges remain.

While Hamas claims to want a permanent cease-fire, Israel has vowed to continue its fight until the terror group’s remaining battalions in Rafah are destroyed and all hostages are brought home.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday that France would work with Jordan and the United Arab Emirates to convince Russia and China to support an alternative resolution at the United Nations regarding a ceasefire in Gaza. Washington has previously blocked three resolutions before the Security Council that demanded an immediate cease-fire without a hostage deal.

Isabella Egerton is a leading intelligence specialist and investigator focused on state led level security investigations. She has a proven track record in running complex multi-jurisdictional intelligence projects around the globe.