Syrian FM Accuses US and Others of Spurring Conflict, Refugee Crisis
(NEW YORK) — Syria’s foreign minister didn’t have much encouraging news Monday about the conflict in his country while addressing the United Nations General Assembly.
Mostly, Walid al-Moallem pointed fingers at the international community for prolonging the bloody civil war between government forces and rebels that began in March 2011.
In sharply worded remarks before the U.N., Moallem accused the U.S., France, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia with sparking and supporting “terrorism in Syria with money, weapons and foreign fighters.”
President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has consistently referred to the armed resistance in Syria as “terrorists” who receive foreign support.
The foreign minister also went as far as blaming his country’s neighbors for the 300,000 Syrians that have sought refuge in other countries, alleging that Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq have created an artificial crisis.
During a brief break from his diatribe, Moallem suggested that a dialogue on political transition could happen even as al-Assad has been adamant about not relinquishing power.
Earlier, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Syria’s foreign minister that his government was predominantly responsible for “the continued killings, massive destruction, human rights abuses, and aerial and artillery attacks” in Syria, according to Ban’s spokesman.
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