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Syria: EU push for UN condemnation fails

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A deeply divided United Nation Security Council has failed to agree on an EU-proposed statement condemning Syria’s violent crackdown against protesters. A draft proposed by France, Britain, Germany and Portugal was opposed by several within the 15-member council. Russia insisted that events in Syria did not constitute a threat to international peace.

More than 450 people have allegedly been killed since the pro-democracy protests began nearly six weeks ago.

China and India called for political dialogue and peaceful resolution of the crisis, but stopped short of condemning the violence.

“A real threat to regional security could arise from outside interference in Syria’s domestic situation, including attempts to force ready-made solutions or taking of sides,” said Alexander Pankin, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN.

‘Abhorrent violence’

The BBC’s Barbara Plett, at the UN headquarters in New York, says that, apart from Libya, the UN Security Council has not responded very much to revolts across the Arab world.

She adds that Russia’s growing uneasiness about the international intervention in Libya – which Moscow says is going beyond its UN mandate to protect civilians – had probably hardened its position on Syria.

But the US ambassador called on Syria to stop what it called the government’s abhorrent violence, and on the international community to act.

“My government calls on President [Bashar] Assad to change course now and heed the calls of his own people,” said Susan Rice.

“We also call on the international community to respond to this brutal crackdown and to hold accountable those who are perpetrating these gross human rights violations,” she added.

Both the US and the Europeans warned that, unless the demands for reform are heeded quickly, they will be pressing for additional sanctions.

The text proposed by the European states at the Security Council condemned the violence against civilians and backed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s call for a “transparent” independent investigation into deaths in the protests.

But, speaking at the UN, Syria’s ambassador to the organisation, Bashar Jaafari, said his government would resist external intervention in his country’s affairs.

“As a government, we cannot accept that some claim to value the lives of our sons more than we do. The policies of interfering in affairs of other states through various justifications and pretexts have always proven to be erroneous,” he said. Read more here.

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Written by Theophyle

April 28, 2011 at 7:59 am

Posted in BBC, Event, Geo Files, Middle East, Syria, UN

Tagged with , ,

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