UN inaction over Syria crackdown a 'scandal': France

12th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

The United Nations' failure to take a clear position on the bloody repression of demonstrations in Syria is "a scandal", the French foreign ministry said on Monday.

Recalling that according to the UN at least 2,600 people have been killed in Syria, ministry spokesman Bernard Valero also slammed the "revolting murder" of a protest organiser, Ghiyath Matar, while in Syrian detention.

Arrested on September 6, Matar, 26, died in detention after being tortured, rights group Human Rights Watch said, adding that the body had bruises on his chest and signs of facial injuries.

"How long with the international community remain blind and dumb in the face of this endless sequence of crimes? That's the question we're asking today," Valero said.

"The blocking of a joint position at the United Nations Security Council is a scandal," Valero said.

The United States said on Friday that it would this week ramp up work on a UN Security Council resolution targeting Syria, amid opposition from other member states to approve a forceful resolution.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday told British Prime Minister David Cameron it would be a mistake to put more pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Medvedev said that the difference between Russia's approach to its traditional regional ally to that taken by the West was "not dramatic".

But he stressed that any punitive actions must be applied equally to both sides of the Syria conflict because the opposition was continuing to oppose calls to engage Assad in direct talks.

Russia has blocked previous attempts by the council to sanction Assad and is promoting a separate draft resolution that simply calls on both sides to open direct talks.

Russia and China boycotted a Council meeting on sanctions against Damascus.

© 2011 AFP

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