ID :
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 10:19
Auther :

US "encouraged" by GCC position on Syria, urges Council members to put interest of Syrian people first

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 10 (KUNA) -- US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on Wednesday expressed hope that the Security Council would take further action in the coming weeks against Syria now that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Arab League and others have spoken out, and urged Council members to put the interest of the Syrian people before that of their bilateral relations with Damascus.
"We are mindful of the fact and encouraged by the fact that there is now a growing course of international condemnation. The Council spoke last week. We've seen important statements from the GCC, from the Arab League, from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. We've seen steps by Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to withdraw their ambassadors and we also have seen the very strong message that Turkey has delivered (to Syria), and we hope very much that the delegation sent by IBSA (Council) countries (Ind ia, Brazil and South Africa) will echo the very strong message that the violence has to stop, (and that Syria) be credible about this reform process which to date they have absolutely failed to do," Rice told reporters.
"From the US point of view, we will continue and intensify our pressure, both through our national actions (through) additional sanctions, as well as coordinated efforts with partners both here in New York and around the world," she added.
She said the US is working with Council partners on a range of ideas including to appoint a UN Special Representative for Syria, to stop dealing with the situation in Syria under the umbrella of the situation in the Middle East and to invite the Head of the Human Rights Council Navy Pillay to brief the Security Council next week on the deadly crackdown on peaceful protesters in Syria.
"Those steps and other like steps would elevate the profile of Syria on the Council agenda and bring the needed attention to this cr isis which we think is long overdue," she stressed.
She said the US is "frustrated" that the Commission of Inquiry that was mandated by the Human Rights Council has been unable to do its work.
Asked what steps the Council would take, she said "I am loath to predict how exactly the Council may respond in the future. Council members have been moved by what they have seen of late and the horrific violence against civilians. But we also have been frustrated quite candidly that it has taken the Council as long as it has to be able to speak with one voice. We think it is past time for all Council members to put the interest of the Syrian people rather than particular bilateral issues, and to continue to deliver a very strong message that what is happening in Syria is unacceptable and needs to be stopped," she said.