Dept: No military solution to Syria conflict

2013-05-29 22:44
(Aamir Qureshi, AFP)

(Aamir Qureshi, AFP)

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Johannesburg - There is no military solution to the on-going conflict in Syria, the department of international relations said on Wednesday.

Violence in Syria had incurred devastating humanitarian consequences, including civilian deaths and destruction of property and resources, spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

"South Africa is gravely concerned that the increased supply of weapons to the parties [in Syria] has entrenched the false notion that a military solution is possible, when in fact there is no military solution to this crisis."

Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Britain and France had supported plans to lift the European Union's arms embargo on Syria.

The threat of arming rebel forces could provide leverage to ensure that representatives of the Syrian government negotiated in good faith during peace talks, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, possibly in June.

Monyela said the South African government appreciated the efforts of United Nations agencies, the International Red Cross and other humanitarian relief organisations to help Syrian civilians.

"South Africa conveys its deepest sympathy to the Syrian people, in particular innocent families who have been on the receiving end of the ongoing violence, and some of whom had to flee to neighbouring countries as refugees," he said.

He urged the parties involved in the Syrian conflict to end violence and to start constructive discussions towards reaching an agreement on a political transition.

"The South African government urges the parties to use the opportunity presented by the proposed international conference to be held in Geneva soon, to start a process of genuine negotiations without preconditions," said Monyela.

"Democracy is an unassailable right of the Syrian people."

He said the South African government believed solutions to the conflict needed to be Syrian-led, with constructive, complementary support from the international community.

"A political solution must be reflective of their will and aspirations, and protect the inalienable rights of the people of Syria."

Read more on:    un  |  clayson monyela  |  sa  |  syria  |  france  |  syria conflict  |  politics

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