GENEVA — The United States criticized Syria’s envoy for storming out of an emergency U.N. meeting on the crisis in his country Tuesday, saying the walkout and a fiery speech that preceded it demonstrated the “delusional” nature of President Bashar Assad’s regime.
Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Fayssal al-Hamwi, accused members of the U.N. Human Rights Council of promoting terrorism and prolonging the crisis in his country by holding an urgent meeting on Syria.
“Anybody who heard the Syrian ambassador should be aware that his comments were borderline out of touch with reality,” Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, the U.S. representative to the 47-nation council, told reporters.
“I think it’s a reflection to some extent of what’s going on with the Assad regime itself, holding a referendum that is farcical and a mockery of democratic processes when they’re in the midst of a humanitarian crisis of their own creation,” she said. “I think the Syrian ambassador’s comments were equally delusional.”
Al-Hamwi took the floor shortly after the U.N.’s top human rights official called for an immediate cease-fire in Syria and unhindered access for aid agencies to deliver emergency supplies and evacuate the sick and wounded.
“We are convinced that the real aim behind holding this session today is to cover up for the violence and murder perpetrated by the armed groups against innocent civilians,” Syria’s ambassador told diplomats.
Calling it part of “a pre-established plan,” al-Hamwi said the meeting was “aimed at attacking the Syrian state and its institutions under the pretext of humanitarian needs.”
“We are not pretending that the human rights situation in Syria is perfect,” he added. “We are aware that there is a regression in the quality of services usually provided by the government to the population by the regions facing violence. This is due to the armed groups that are using residential areas as bases.”
As diplomats and government officials from 70 countries lined up to express their concern about the deteriorating situation in Syria, al-Hamwi announced that his delegation would withdraw from what he called “this sterile discussion.”
Before storming out of the room, he denounced a planned resolution on Syria as “malicious and prejudiced.”
The U.N. political chief B. Lynn Pascoe said Tuesday that “well over” 7,500 people have died in Syria violence and that there are “credible” reports that more than 100 civilians are dying in the country daily. Activists groups said Monday that the death toll for 11 months of unrest has now surpassed 8,000 people.
“Unfortunately, the international community has also failed in its duty to stop the carnage, and actions and inactions to date have seemed to encourage the regime in its believe that it has impunity to carry out the wanton destruction of its own civilians,” Pascoe said.
Members of the Geneva-based council are expected to pass a resolution this week condemning “widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities.”
A draft text supported by many Arab and Western nations says the Syrian regime’s use of heavy artillery and tanks to attack civilian areas has contributed to the deaths of thousands.View Entire Story
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