Saudis say UN inaction gives Assad 'green light'
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Saudi Arabian deputy foreign minister said yesterday that Security Council inaction on the Syrian civil war gave the Bashar Assad regime "a green light" to attack his own people.
Abdulaziz bin Abdullah told the UN General Assembly on Friday that the Assad regime was "in a race against time to accomplish its objectives using the most advanced means of killing and destruction."
Opposition groups say more than 30,000 people have been killed since the uprising began with street demonstrations 18 months ago. Egypt has sought to engage the Saudis along with Turkey and Iran in finding a path to end the fighting. So far, the Saudis have not participated and Iranian leaders claim they are trying to put together a working group of non-aligned countries.
The Security Council, meanwhile, has been deadlocked, with Russia and China blocking three attempts to pass resolutions that would sanction Syria.
"We regret that this regime continues to believe that it can proceed with its suppressive procedures to control the situation without any due regard to the high humanitarian losses," Abdullah said. "The Security Council, which is entrusted with the responsibility of keeping peace and security, has failed so far to take a decision about the Syrian crisis and to stop the bloodshed therein. This matter gave the Syrian regime a green light to proceed with its crimes against the Syrian people, in a race against time, to accomplish its objectives using the most advanced means of killing and destruction."
Abdullah called on the council to support Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, and said he needs to go beyond the failed six-point plan of his predecessor, Kofi Annan. That plan called for a ceasefire that never happened, and was supposed to end with a political transition.
"We believe that the success of his mission will require implementing a new strategy and a clear plan that aims to achieve a peaceful transition of power; and surpasses the six-point plan which the previous envoy was not able to implement any of them," Abdullah said. "Needless to say that the new representative will not be able to move forward unless the Security Council provides him with the necessary support he needs to deal with the Syrian crisis at both political and humanitarian levels."