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U.S., Syria differ on causes of violence


09:22, January 11, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Susan Rice, permanent representative of the U.S. to the UN, said here Tuesday that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad is stepping up violent activities against civilians, a charge that the Syrian permanent representative rejected, saying that outside instigation is responsible for the deaths in the country.

Rice and Bashar Ja'afari, the Syrian UN ambassador, addressed reporters outside the UN Security Council chamber after the council heard a closed-door briefing on the situation in Syria from B. Lynn Pascoe, UN under-secretary-general for political affairs.

Rice said that in the "alarming" briefing, the council learned that people are being killed in the Syrian crisis at a higher rate currently than they were before the Arab League (AL) deployed human rights monitors to Syria.

"That is a clear indication that the government of Syria, rather than using the opportunity of its commitment to the Arab League to end the violence and fulfill all of its commitments under the protocol is instead stepping up the violence, despite the presence of monitors, and carrying out further acts of brutality against its population, even often in the presence of those monitors," Rice said.

Ja'afari, speaking to reporters after Rice, said his country regrets the loss of any Syrian life, but disagreed on the causes of violence.

"These victims are falling in Syria because of those who are still insisting on instigating and inciting to violence," he said.

He added that calls to incitement from the outside are "from the same countries" that reporters had just heard speak.

Ja'afari said that the U.S. State Department told opposition armed groups in Syria not to give up their arms or join the national dialogue. He leveled criticism at officials of France and Qatar for their statements regarding Syria as well.

"We all remember also what the French minister for foreign affairs said about the Arab peace efforts being undertaken in Syria right now," the Syrian representative said. "He predicted that the Arab initiative was dead before even the Arab ministers met in Cairo."

While talking to reporters, Rice criticized a speech by Assad delivered on Tuesday.

"It's been long the view of the United States that Assad should step aside and yield to the wishes of the Syrian people for a government that reflects the will of the people and indeed is unified and committed to peaceful progress for the country," Rice said.

"Unfortunately, rather than take that approach we heard the vitriol of President Assad's speech today and further belittling by him of the Arab League which we found offensive given that the entire international community, the United States, and all members of the Security Council are united in their support of the Arab League initiative and it is something that the Syrian government itself committed to embrace," she said.

Rice also cited reports that two Kuwaiti human rights monitors working for the AL had been "harmed, harassed and hurt in the context of their work" in Syria.

"The Arab League, as I understand it, has issued a statement strongly condemning that, and pointing the finger, putting the blame very squarely on pro-regime elements that were responsible for the attacks on the human rights monitors from Kuwait," said Rice.

She said that the U.S. joins to the call by the AL for the Syrian government to ensure the safety and freedom of movement for monitors.

Ja'afari noted news reports by American, French, and Spanishpublications that Syrian armed groups have been found hiding out in Lebanon.

"We are talking about some concrete actions taken by armed groups who found haven and refuge in some neighboring countries and protection -- diplomatic and political protection -- by some of those people in the Security Council who are advocating defending human rights and the protection of the Syrian population in the council," said Ja'afari.


Leave your comment5 comments

  1. Name

dave at 2012-01-12184.66.11.*
Obama and his administration speak with a forked tongue. Say one thing and then do another.
PD User at 2012-01-12184.66.11.*
Obama and his administration speak with a forked tongue. Say one thing and then do another.
wende at 2012-01-1271.255.88.*
The west, specially US, like to overblow the severity of demonstrations in countries not do not kowtow to them. China should take note not to allow small protests to prolong. Otherwise, west will take advantage and claims human rights and will intervene. Of course, China is not Libya or Iraq.
Huaqiao at 2012-01-1175.72.239.*
My dear motherland, please watch your backyard carefully, as plans have been in place, actions have been taken, and the train has left the station, and only a matter of time before cancer cells start showing up under your own feet. So, don"t sleep but watch your night hours carefully.
Canada at 2012-01-1170.36.49.*
NATO protégées,the Libya NTC, sent hundreds of armed mercenaries to fight in Syria.

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