Britain welcomes UN condemnation of Syria crackdown
Britain on Wednesday welcomed the United Nations' condemnation of the Syrian government's deadly crackdown on protesters and warned it faced increased international pressure unless the violence ended.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague slammed President Bashar al-Assad's "unacceptable" response to recent demonstrations and called for "genuine political reform" following Wednesday's Security Council announcement.
"I welcome the UN Security Council presidential statement on Syria," said Hague in a statement.
The foreign minister added that the UN's response demonstrated "rising international concern at the unacceptable behaviour" of Assad's regime and the Syrian leader's "increasingly isolated" position.
"It is vital that the violence and repression by the Syrian regime stops," he urged.
"I call on... Assad's regime to end its violence and to allow genuine political reform. Until it does, the regime will be discredited amongst its own people and facing increased pressure internationally," he warned.
The UN statement called for those responsible for the recent crackdown to be held "accountable," as tanks stormed the protest hub of Hama.
The organisation agreed after weeks of often-acrimonious talks that it "condemns the widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities."
According to the Syrian Observatory 1,629 civilians and 374 members of the security forces have been killed since pro-democracy protests erupted in Syria on March 15.
© 2011 AFP