Angel Merkel, the German chancellor, has hit out at Russia and China over their stance in the Syrian crisis, saying in an interview published on Saturday that their action weakened the United Nations.
"It is very regrettable that Russia and China have refused for some time to come to a common position [with Western partners] on the Syrian conflict. This considerably weakens the role of the United Nations," she said in an interview with regional daily Augsburger Allgemeine.
Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions that would increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the start of the conflict in March 2011.
The two countries are also against a current push by the three Western permanent members of the Security Council - the United States, Britain and France - for a resolution that would allow military action against Syria over a chemical weapons attack which the West blames on the regime and the regime blames on the rebels.
In a separate interview to be published on Sunday in Welt am Sonntag weekly, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle urged Russia to reconsider its stance.
"Those who look away despite the use of chemical weapons ... encourage their use. That is why we are calling on Russia to send a signal along with the international community," he said.
Merkel reiterated that the use of chemical weapons in Syria had "broken a taboo" which "cannot remain without consequence"
International community should speak out Russia and China vetos re: Syrian issue, the world should not silence this unforgivable criminal Assad gases thousand of Syrian people. They should not silence for this grave human tragedy for the world future. No tyrant ever going to use it as their political tool!