Failed UN resolution on Syria eyed regime change, South Africa says
AFP, Thursday 6 Oct 2011
South Africa cites 'hidden agenda' for recent abstention on Syria vote at UN; raises concerns that NATO went beyond its mandate in Libya

The failed UN Security Council resolution on Syria had a "hidden agenda" to bring down President Bashar al-Assad's government, South Africa has said, justifying its abstention on the vote.

Western countries who drafted the resolution intended "punitive measures" against Syria which could destabilise neighbouring countries in the Middle East, the statement added.

"We have seen that recently Security Council resolutions have been abused and their implementation went far beyond the mandate of what was intended," it said.

South Africa has joined Russia, China and others in accusing NATO of having abused the UN resolutions on Libya to launch air strikes this year.

Russia and China on Tuesday vetoed a European-backed draft resolution that would have threatened possible action against President Bashar al-Assad. Non-permanent members South Africa, Brazil, India, and Lebanon abstained.

The country condemned the violence that has killed more than 2,700 people in the past seven months, and called on Syria's government to launch talks with its people to end the violence.