Russia condemns "harmful" U.N. assembly resolution on Syria

UNITED NATIONS Fri Aug 3, 2012 3:54pm EDT

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia condemned a resolution on Syria which the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted on Friday as "harmful," complaining that it was tantamount to a show of support for rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the 193-nation assembly that the Saudi-drafted resolution "hides blatant support to the armed opposition." Russia was among only 12 countries that voted against the non-binding text, which condemns Damascus and calls for a political transition.

The resolution received 133 votes in favor and 31 abstentions. China, Iran and Cuba were among the dozen nations that voted against the resolution, which Western diplomats said had been intended to highlight Russia's and China's isolation for using their veto power in the Security Council to protect Assad.

(Reporting By Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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