Syria govt adopting
stalling tactics: PM
PRIME Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al Thani on Friday reiterated Qatar’s willingness to contribute to efforts to end the ordeal of the Syrian people, while stressing the necessity of the international community reaching a resolution away from the Security Council. He was addressing the Paris-based Friends of Syria meeting in the French capital.
The Prime Minister said, “We need to pause and correct the path as soon as possible in order to reduce the number of the dead and the wounded among the Syrian people.” The Prime Minister reminded the gathering that Qatar was one of the first countries to engage with the Syrian leadership to reach a settlement whether through unilateral action or the Arab League, but in both the cases the regime would offer “positive talk,” while “brutal killing and suppression” continued.
“Both the Arab mission and, then, the UN mission were met with stalling tactics by the Syrian government, hoping to quell the revolution,” HE the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister emphasised that the Geneva conference was a good step and hoped that China and Russia would be serious in dealing with the situation. He added that change was coming but it should be with minimal losses.
“We want a safe exit for the Syrian leadership leaving the Syrian people without further burning the land.” Meanwhile, the meeting of over 100 countries convened to discuss the Syria crisis in its final statement on Friday called for President Bashar al Assad to stand down as part of a transition in the violencewracked nation. “Participants agreed and clearly affirmed that those whose presence would compromise the transition’s credibility should be distanced. In this respect, they stressed that Bashar al Assad should leave power,” it said.
The participants in the meeting also agreed to massively bolster aid to the Syrian opposition, including secure communications equipment, the final statement said. “The participants decided on a massive increase in aid to the opposition,” the statement said. “Some participants will notably supply to opponents means of communication to allow them to communicate more safely among themselves within and outside the country, and to protect themselves within the framework of their peaceful activities.” The meeting also called for a UN Security Council resolution backed by sanctions to force Damascus to accept a political transition plan. The meeting is seeking a resolution under the UN charter’s Chapter 7, including the threat of sanctions and diplomatic action in line with Article 41, which explicitly doesn’t allow for the threat or use of armed force.
However, if measures taken under Article 41, including sanctions, don’t work, the Security Council can take another decision to move to Article 42 which does authorise the use of force to enforce the UN resolution. A six-point peace plan from envoy Kofi Annan hasn’t been complied with, and a meeting of a Syria action group last week in Geneva called for the plan to be implemented along with a process of transition.
Participants at the Paris meeting “called on the UN Security Council to play its role and support special joint envoy Kofi Annan by urgently adopting, under the United Nations Charter’s Chapter 7, a resolution that reaffirms the joint special envoy’s sixpoint plan approved by the Geneva communique of the action group, including its plan for political transition, and impose measures, in accordance with Article 41 of the UN Charter, to ensure its respect,” the final statement said. Morocco is to host the next Friends of Syria meeting, and Italy has said it is ready to host the following meeting.