Egypt Abstained from Voting on a Resolution to Introduce New Sanctions on Al-Assad’s Regime

For the second-time Egypt aligns itself with the Russian axis regarding the Syrian file as it abstained from voting on UN Security Council resolution to introduce new sanctions on Syria.  

The Security Council draft resolution aimed to ban the supply of helicopters to the Syrian government and impose sanctions on Syrian military and security officials and entities within Bashar al-Assad’s government over accusations that they were involved in the use of chemical weapons on civilians.

Egypt’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Amr Abul Atta said that Cairo didn’t support the draft resolution on Damascus as it didn’t include real evidence and it has only submitted unconvincing accusations.

During the UN Security Council session, Atta said that the draft resolution has neglected “the evidence,“he added, “We were surprised that it has jumped the traditional steps followed in the council and it included pre-prepared list of entities and individuals, who were considered by those presented the resolution, as the ones responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.”

He also described the resolution as being “absurd” as it lacks both evidence and proof, according to his words.

Atta also said that the resolution is a “preemptive step to the joint investigation commission reports.”

Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution imposing sanctions on Syria over chemical attacks carried out by Damascus.

Along with Russia and China, Bolivia voted against the draft resolution while Egypt, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia abstained.

It was obvious that Egypt’s permanent representative comments match the reasons submitted by Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov who also has said after the voting at the UN Security Council,”Despite our consistent appeals, the authors preferred a politically motivated path, leading to confrontation and adding complexity to the situation, including on our Security Council platform.”

The diplomat added, “They headed for deliberately heating up tensions, being well aware from the very start that this initiative has no chances of being approved at the Security Council.”

He said in this situation Russia “had no other choice but to block the passing of this resolution, the sanction list of which is copied from the analogous American list, approved at the start of this year by the previous US administration,” Safronkov said.

In fact, this is the second-time Egypt’s foreign policy stands in favor to the Russian axis.

Last October, Egypt voted in favor of the Russian-backed draft resolution on Aleppo in the United Nations security council.

The Russian draft resolution which was submitted as a counter measure was opposed by Western and Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia.

As a result, Egypt’s vote led to an unprecedented rift between Egypt and its strongest Arab ally, Saudi Arabia.

The vote triggered the first public condemnation by the Saudis of the Egyptian regime, which they helped bring to power three years ago.

The Saudi criticism also coincided with cutting monthly discounted oil shipments to Egypt, a much-needed support for the country’s deteriorating economy.

Moreover, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi had said during an interview with the Portuguese TV in November that Egypt supports the Syrian Arab Army which was considered as an explicit support to the Syrian regime.