Dialogue needed in Egypt and Syria: Cosatu

By Drum Digital
02 September 2013

The conflicts in Egypt and Syria have to be solved through dialogue, the tripartite alliance summit has resolved.

"The summit is concerned about the escalating violence and military interventions in both Egypt and Syria," Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement on Monday.

"We condemn any use of chemical weapons, particularly against innocent civilians. Equally, we condemn retributive violence through military intervention which can only worsen the humanitarian situation."

The three-day annual summit attended by Cosatu, the African National Congress, the SA Communist Party, and the SA National Civic Organisation was convened "mainly" to discuss ways to overcome unemployment, inequality, and poverty in South Africa.

It was held in Centurion at the weekend.

Al Jazeera television reported that United States President Barack Obama had decided on military action against Syria, but would seek authorisation from the US Congress first.

Obama reportedly said the US had a "powerful case" in allegedly linking the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to a chemical weapons attack in Damascus.

Craven said the alliance summit condemned the decision by the US to use military force against the "suffering people" of Syria.

Any military action not authorised by the United Nations Security Council would be in serious violation of international law.

"We call on the US Congress not to endorse the proposal of the US president to wage war on the people of Syria," said Craven.

"In the same spirit we also call on the Americans and progressive people in the world to mobilise against the intended attack on Syria."

In Egypt, international media reported that thousands of Egyptians protested in support of ousted president Mohammed Morsi and were attacked with tear gas by police in Cairo on Friday.

The military ousted Morsi on July 3 after people took to the streets demanding he step down. Morsi was due to stand trial for allegedly committing acts of violence, and inciting the killing of at least 10 people, according to Fox News.

-Sapa

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