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France slams UN silence on Syria unrest

(AFP)
Filed on September 19, 2011

NEW YORK — French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe accused the Syrian regime Monday of “crimes against humanity” and slammed the UN Security Council for failing to take a strong stand on the unrest.

“Crimes against humanity are committed in Syria. The silence of the Security Council is unacceptable,” Juppe told the Council on Foreign Relations, at a talk held on the sidelines of a week of UN summits.

Syria has been rocked by protests against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that began on March 15 and triggered a brutal crackdown in which the United Nations says 2,600 people have been killed.

A delegation of Russian lawmakers is in Syria in a bid to broker an end to the violence.

Assad told them on Sunday he welcomes the “balanced and constructive Russian position toward the security and stability of Syria,” the state-run SANA news agency reported.

But Assad, who has blamed “armed terrorist gangs” for the violence rocking his country, also warned against “any foreign intervention that threatens to divide states in the region.”


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