SA stance on Syria welcome - Hague

2012-02-14 19:44
Cape Town - South Africa had taken a "welcome" principled stance in voting for the United Nations resolution on the unrest in Syria, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.

Speaking in Cape Town, Hague said people were dying in Syria because the UN Security Council (UNSC) had failed to agree on a united response on the assault against protesters by the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"We welcome the principled stance that South Africa took in voting, as we did, for the UNSC resolution," Hague said.

"I welcome the discussions that I have had with your foreign minister [Maite Nkoana-Mashabane] yesterday [Monday] about intensifying peaceful diplomatic pressure and supporting the regional leadership shown by the Arab League."

He said Britain and South Africa agreed about wanting Syrians to be allowed to resolve their differences peacefully.

"What currently stands between them and this legitimate aspiration is the Assad regime’s naked determination to cling to power at any cost," Hague said.

"That is why we are determined to use every peaceful means to intensify the diplomatic and economic stranglehold on the regime."

Hague said the world faced a danger of nuclear arms being acquired by new states "who may not be that responsible in developing them and in harbouring the technology without selling it to others".

The danger was not necessarily of Iran developing nuclear weapons capability, but of several other countries in the Middle Eastern region doing the same in response, he said.

"We could end up with the world's most unstable region politically in possession of the world's most dangerous weapons. I think what is crucial is that we prevent proliferation."

Hague said that while it was right that countries such as South Africa took their place at the "top table" in world affairs, it was up to African countries to decide who would represent them as a possible permanent member of the UNSC.

He said Britain supported the reform of the UNSC, which reflected the outcome of World War Two.

"We think there should be an expanded security council with more permanent members," he said in answer to a question on whether Britain would back South Africa's bid for a permanent seat on the council.

"It is for countries of Africa to determine the nature of that representation. I don't think it is for the rest of the world to determine that."

He said Britain was active in supporting South Africa's efforts in finding a political solution in Zimbabwe.

"We see South Africa and [the Southern African Development Community] as leading the way," he said.

Britain would continue to help Zimbabwe with its £80m development fund.

"We will help in other ways," Hague said.

Read more on:    sadc  |  bashar assad  |  maite nkoana-mashabane  |  william hague  |  uk  |  zimbabwe  |  sa  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings  |  southern africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

Jurassic World trailer is epic!
Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Hot festive offers at!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may feel divided. Conflict between mind and emotions can create tension or indecision. This could lead to stressful more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.