Peres Urges Arab League to 'Stop Syrian Massacre'
Delivering a historic address to the European Parliament on Tuesday, President Shimon Peres called for the Arab League to intervene in the Syrian crisis, urging the nations “to stop the massacre.”
"The Arab League can and should form a provisional government in Syria to stop the massacre, to prevent Syria from falling to pieces. The United Nations should support the Arab League to build an Arab force in blue helmets," Peres said, according to the AFP news agency.
In the first speech to the assembly by an Israeli head of state since that of Chaim Herzog 28 years ago, Peres said the free world "cannot stand by when a massacre is carried out by the Syrian president against his own people and his own children."
"It breaks all our hearts," he said. "The intervention of Western forces would be perceived as a foreign interference."
Peres, about to wind up an eight-day Europe tour taking in EU institutions as well as France, received a standing ovation from the 754-member parliament.
Saying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was a threat to the entire region "and even for Europe" because he possessed a chemical arsenal, Peres said Arab League intervention was the best solution to prevent chemical weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
The fate of Assad's chemical arsenal was "a real problem", he added at a news conference immediately after the speech.
"The greatest danger to peace in the world is the present Iranian regime," Peres added, singling out the regime as the greatest threat to international stability for "aiming to build a nuclear weapon" as well as violating human rights by hanging people and discriminating against women.
The Israeli president also slammed Iran for supporting global terrorism, notably via "its main proxy", the Lebanese Hizbullah, blaming the group for dividing Lebanon, supporting Assad and sowing terror across the world, according to AFP.
The EU is already under pressure from Israel and the United States to put Hizbullah on a terrorist blacklist.
"We appeal to you -- call terror, terror," Peres said. "Save Lebanon from terrorist madness. Save the Syrian people from Iran's proxies. Save your citizens and ours from Hizbullah."