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European group calls for UNSC arms embargo on Syria

France,Defence/Security, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 IANS

Strasbourg, April 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Thursday called on the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Syria.


"The Syrian people should be free to build their own future. To facilitate this objective, the Assembly calls on the UN Security Council to urgently put in place an embargo on the import of all weapons and supporting material into Syria," PACE said.


Despite objections from the Russian delegation, the demand for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit was included into the final version of the text.


The document was approved by 104 to four, with one abstention. All the "no" votes were from the Russian delegation.


"The dictatorship which has oppressed the Syrian people for decades has no future," the document said.


"The Syrian population is a mosaic of ethnic, cultural and religious groups and this diversity, together with the territorial integrity of Syria, must be preserved in a future post-Assad Syria," it said.


The statement also called on all sides of the conflict to halt violence.


According to the UN, more than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against Assad in March last year.


Western nations and Israel accuse the Syrian authorities of violently suppressing the protests. Assad in turn has accused the West of supporting the protesters, who he says are Al Qaeda-linked militants and army defectors.


--IANS/RIA Novosti




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