UAE foreign minister: 'sanctions only way to end Syria bloodshed'
The UAE Foreign Minister has urged the UN Security Council to hit Syria with international sanctions, saying it is the best way to weaken the “obstinate” regime of Bashar Al Assad.
In a strongly worded speech, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan warned the humanitarian crisis is getting “worse by the day” in Syria and that the war-torn country needs a new government.
He said there was “no doubt” that international sanctions are the best way to end the bloodshed.
He also sought to get pro-Syria UN members to support moves to bring an end to the Al Assad regime, urging the “Asian permanent members at the UN Security Council” to “reconsider their stance and support the transition process in Syria”.
The five permanent members of the security council are China, Russia, the US, the UK and France. Any member of the permanent security council can block resolutions and China and Russia have repeatedly stood in the way of efforts by the UN to impose sanctions on Al Assad.
Sheikh Abdullah, speaking at a conference in Kazakhstan, added: “What serves the interest of Syria is a transition to a new government and no doubt international sanctions is the best option to weaken the Syrian regime.”
Sheikh Abdullah was speaking at the fourth meeting of foreign ministers at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, which opened yesterday in Astana, Kazakhstan.
He said the UAE and its fellow members of the Gulf Cooperation Council were committed to helping countries receiving Syrian refugees.
His position is strongly aligned with most of the international community. President Morsi of Egypt this week urged Syria’s ally Iran to join the international community in calling for sanctions.
Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said it was “no secret” that the US is disappointed by Russia and China’s actions in blocking UN Security Council resolutions.
The UN has estimated that about 20,000 people have so far died in the conflict, with 250,000 more fleeing to neighbouring countries. Yesterday, there was heavy fighting near Syria’s Aleppo airport.