Tags: BNALL | BNRIYADH | BNSTAFF | BNTEAMS | DEF | DUX | EM

Syria Condemns Calls for Assad to Step Down

Saturday, 20 Aug 2011 08:43 AM

 

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Syria condemned the U.S. and Europe over calls for President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish his rule and rejected all interference in the country’s internal affairs.

The allies’ statements reveal the “true face of the conspiracy” against Syria for its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, according to an editorial today on the website of the government’s al-Thawra newspaper. Removing Syria from the conflict is “a strategic goal for Israel,” according to al- Thawra.

In a coordinated move with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement on Aug. 18, saying Assad should step down and allow Syrians to chart their own political future. The European Union reached an agreement to broaden sanctions against the Syrian regime, including preparing for an embargo on the import of Syrian crude oil into the bloc, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Syria rejects any kind of interference in its internal affairs, al-Thawra said in the editorial. The Assad government “will never permit that,” it said.

Faced with the most serious threat to his family’s 40-year rule, Assad has deployed tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and helicopters to crush the uprising that began after revolts ousted the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt and sparked a conflict in Libya. Syrian security forces killed at least 32 protesters and arrested more than 300 people after Obama called on Assad to step down.

At least 27 people died yesterday in a suburb of the capital, Damascus, the Homs governorate and Daraa, where the revolt against Syria’s president began in mid-March, Ammar Qurabi of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria said yesterday.


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