UN Condemns Syria
The United Nations has voted to condemn the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for its murderous nine-month campaign of violence against civilian anti-government protesters.
The resolution, sponsored by Germany, the UK and France was approved Monday by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly in a vote of 133-11, with 43 abstentions.
Syria's Ambassador to the U.N. Bashar Ja'afari accused the sponsors of the non-binding resolution of waging a "political, media and diplomatic war" with the goal of destroying his country.
The resolution calls for an immediate end to the violence and demands that Syrian authorities implement an Arab League initiative signed last month "without further delay."
It also urges the Assad regime to withdraw its tanks from the nation's streets, to release all political prisoners and to allow foreign observers into the country.
Assad allegedly had already agreed to the latter, with Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem signing an Arab League agreement to send monitors to Syria.
However, Syrian opposition forces said Monday in a statement from Tunisia that they believe the president is lying, and that only foreign military intervention can save their country.
"Syria's signature on the agreement is a lie aimed at buying time and discouraging the League from resorting to the United Nations," said Burhan Ghalioun, a representative of the Syrian National Council.
Ghalioun and other activists told a news conference in Tunisia, "We want a firmer position: that the League avoid the traps of this lying regime. We urge the Arab League and the United Nations to defend Syrians by establishing isolated and secure areas inside Syria."