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Syrian UN envoy blames terrorists for "heinous" killings in Houla

(Xinhua)

09:21, May 31, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Bashar Ja'afari, the permanent representative of Syria to the UN, said here Wednesday that his government believes that the killings that took place in Houla on May 25 are a "heinous crime" attributable to terrorism.

"The Syrian government, the Syrian people are extremely troubled with this heinous and unjustified terrorist crime that took place in Al Houla," he said. "Nobody would be more troubled than us, because of what happened in Al Houla."

Ja'afari's statement came as he addressed reporters outside of the UN Security Council chamber after the 15-nation council met on the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).

More than 100 people, including women and children, were killed in the central Syrian village of Houla in the most violent incident since a ceasefire was implemented in the country on April 12.

Ja'afari explained that a national investigation commission in Syria will soon finish its investigation of the events in Houla so that those responsible for the massacre can be identified.

"Those who perpetrated this crime should be held accountable and brought to justice, to the Syrian justice," he said.

Other members of the Security Council, Ja'afari said, are increasingly acknowledging the presence of a "third element" in the Syrian crisis -- armed terrorist groups.

He noted that such groups are "trained, financed, harbored, and protected by some countries in the area, Arab countries, regional countries, and internationally speaking also."

According to Ja'afari, Syria has transmitted to the Security Council as well as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN agencies specific information about the smuggling of weapons into Syria as well as assistance provided internationally to the armed terrorist groups.

Ja'afari said that the cooperation of these instigators will be necessary for a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis.

"We need the political will not only from the Syrian government, we need political will from all of those who are involved in inciting to violence, smuggling weapons and protecting, financing, and harboring the armed groups outside of Syria as well as inside of Syria," he said.

The Syrian representative said that his country is "very serious" about implementing the six-point plan created by Kofi Annan, UN and Arab League joint special envoy for Syria, in order to end the crisis.

In his most recent visit to Syria, Annan met with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"Kofi Annan had good talks with President Assad in Damascus as well as with Syrian officials," said Ja'afari. "President Assad reviewed with Kofi Annan the progress that has been achieved by the Syrian government in implementing his plan."

"However, President Assad reminded Mr. Kofi Annan of the necessity to have everybody else committed to respecting his plan and to stop financing and arming and smuggling weapons into Syria, " he said.

It was announced on Wednesday following the council meeting that Annan will brief the Security Council on talks in Syria on June 7.

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