Syria envoy lashes out at Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia
UNITED NATIONS - Agence France-Presse
Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, talks about violations of procedure that went on in this morning's General Assembly meeting at the UN on April 5.Syria's U.N. envoy on Thursday demanded that Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Western nations not undermine Kofi Annan's peace mission by paying and supporting opposition groups.
As President Bashar al-Assad's government faced growing international pressure, Syrian U.N. envoy Bashar Jaafari said opposition groups must give a written commitment not to take advantage of any withdrawal by government troops from Syrian cities.
U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan says Syria has agreed to a six-point peace plan and an April 10 deadline to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from cities, but is still continuing military operations in urban areas. Western nations have expressed strong doubts that Assad will comply with the plan.
After Annan brief the U.N. General Assembly, Jaafari lashed out at Gulf Arab states for their "petrodollar" support for Syrian opposition groups and at Turkey for hosting a Friends of Syria meeting last weekend.
"We need to get commitments from the Qataris, from the Saudis, from the Turks, from the French, from the USA, that Annan should be given a chance in order to succeed," Jaafari said.
"We need a crystal-cut commitment and a guarantee by Mr Annan himself -- after he consults with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the others -- that once the government will observe and will respect the end of violence, the other parties will do the same and will not fill the vacuum," he added.
He said the agreement was "an integral part" of the deal between Annan and the Syrian government.
In answer to widespread doubts from Western governments that Assad forces will end hostilities, Jaafari said the Syrian government was "committed" to making the Annan plan work.
Annan earlier told the U.N. General Assembly that there were "alarming" casualties despite the Syrian government's agreement to the peace plan.
U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon said "the violence and assaults in civilian areas have not stopped. The situation on the ground continues to deteriorate."