PACE Calls for Security Council Arms Embargo on Syria
STRASBOURG, April 26 (RIA Novosti) - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on the UN Security Council on Thursday to impose an arms embargo on Syria.
"The Syrian people should be free to build their own future. To facilitate this objective, the Assembly calls on the United Nations Security Council to urgently put in place an embargo on the importation of all weapons and supporting material into Syria," PACE said in its resolution on Syria.
Experts say that despite Russia’s efforts to soften the resolution, the wording of the document remains quite harsh.
Despite objections from the Russian delegation, the demand for President Bashar al-Assad to quit was included into the final version of the text. The document was approved by 104 “yes” votes against four “no” votes, with one abstention. All no votes were from the Russian delegation.
“The dictatorship which has oppressed the Syrian people for decades has no future,’ the document says. “The Syrian population is a mosaic of ethnic, cultural and religious groups and this diversity, together with the territorial integrity of Syria, must be preserved in a future post-Assad Syria.”
The document also calls on all sides of the conflict to halt violence.
More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President Assad last March, according to the UN.
Western nations and Israel have accused the Syrian authorities of violently suppressing the protests. Assad in turn has accused the West of supporting the protesters, who he says are al-Qaeda linked militants and army defectors.
UN envoy Kofi Annan’s universally approved peace plan came into force in Syria on April 12, though there have been reports of numerous violations of the truce by both government and opposition forces.
The UN Security Council authorized on Saturday the dispatch of 300 military observers to Syria to supervise on the ceasefire between the government and opposition forces.
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