West holding off on Syria intervention

2012-09-12 19:32


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Doha - Western countries are not considering military intervention in Syria while Russia and China oppose such action, British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters in Doha on Wednesday.

"So long as two major powers are actively opposed to any intervention in Syria, that is a major impediment to Western nations contemplating such action," said Hammond, in a clear reference to Moscow and Beijing.

Both powers have repeatedly opposed UN action against Damascus, as rights groups say more than 27 000 people have been killed since an anti-regime revolt erupted in March 2011.

The conflict in Syria "has to be resolved by the departure of" Assad's "barbaric" regime, said Hammond.

"The key to increasing the squeeze on the Assad regime is persuading the Russians that it is in their long-term interest to support an orderly and as peaceful as possible transition to a new and more legitimate successor," he said.

Beijing and Moscow have drawn heavy criticism for using their veto powers as permanent members of the UN Security Council to block resolutions against Damascus.

Meanwhile, Britain, France and the United States are clamouring for more sanctions on Assad's regime and on the need to speed up a political transition in Syria.

But Russia insists on a negotiated settlement that would involve all the players in the conflict, while its military continues to supply the Damascus regime with weapons under contracts it signed before the bloodshed began.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

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