France hails 'turning point' UN condemnation of Syria
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Wednesday hailed as a "turning point" a UN Security Council declaration condemning Syria's deadly crackdown on protests.
"This text is the fruit of the efforts we have carried out with our partners since the start of events in Syria," Juppe said, adding that it represents "a turning point in the international community's attitude."
"Now it is up to Syrian authorities to stop using force against peaceful demonstrations and to implement the reforms needed to answer the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people," he said in a statement.
The Security Council on Wednesday condemned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's deadly crackdown on protests even as government tanks entered a key opposition city.
Making its first pronouncement on the Syrian crisis after months of often acrimonious negotiating, the council called for an end to the violence and for those responsible to be held "accountable".
"The council is sending an unambigious message to Damascus," Juppe said.
"It firmly condemns the Syrian regime for violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians.
"It underlines that those behind the violence must be held accountable. The Council will meet again within seven days to re-examine the situation.
"We call on the Syrian government to hear, finally, the unanimous appeal of the international community," he added.
© 2011 AFP