Syria blasts 'total chaos' campaign amid new sanctions bid

UNITED NATIONS- Western nations on Monday stepped up demands for UN Security Council action against Syria whose foreign minister accused them of unleashing "total chaos" aiming to break up the country.
Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told the UN General Assembly that the protests -- in which at least 2,700 people have been killed, according to the United Nations -- have become a "pretext for foreign interventions."

Syria blasts 'total chaos' campaign amid new sanctions bid
The United States and European Union have imposed sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's government over the deadly crackdown since March and US President Barack Obama called last week for UN Security Council sanctions.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged strong backing for a UN Security Council resolution on Syria in talks with China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle demanded Security Council action at the UN summit, saying Europe would order more sanctions if the crackdown continues.
The Clinton-Yang talks raised "the need for a strong UN Security Council resolution that calls for the violence to end," a senior US State Department official said.
The talks were more general than sanctions however, the officials said.
China and Russia have threatened to veto any UN sanctions resolution, using their right as permanent members of the council.
And in his speech to the UN assembly Yang stressed that the international community should "handle the Syrian issue in a prudent way so as to prevent further turbulence in Syria and its repercussions on regional peace."
In a marked call to opposition demonstrators as well as Assad's forces, Yang said "we hope that parties in Syria will exercise restraint, avoid any form of violence or more bloodshed and conflict, and act quickly to ease tension."
Westerwelle told the UN assembly: "The courageous men and women in Syria deserve a clear signal of our solidarity." He condemned the "brutal force" used by Assad's forces.
"Germany will continue to press for a Security Council resolution. That is not only about showing solidarity with the Syrian people. It is also about the international community’s credibility," the minister said.
"If the repression continues, we Europeans will further tighten the sanctions against the regime.
Giving Syria's speech to the annual UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister Muallem said foreign governments sought to undermine the delicate balance between Syria's different religious groups.
"How can we otherwise explain media provocations, financing and arming religious extremism?" he said.
"What purpose could this serve other than total chaos that would dismember Syria -- and consequently adversely affect its neighbours."
"By targeting the Syrian economy with sanctions, the United States and European Union jeopardize the interests and the basic daily subsistence needs of the Syrian people," Muallem said.
Muallem said Syrian people "are determined to reject all forms of foreign intervention."
The minister said "political circumstances" had held up Assad's promised reforms.

Monday, September 26th 2011

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