Syrian Foreign Minister says Security Council should condemn Israeli acts
The Security Council should condemn a recent Israeli “act of aggression” against Syria, the country’s Foreign Minister told the General Assembly in a speech that also urged greater assistance to help Iraqi refugees and non-intervention in Lebanon’s upcoming presidential elections.
“The latest act of Israeli aggression against Syria on September 6, 2007 is a proof of Israel’s desire to escalate tension,” Walid Al-Moualem told the Assembly’s annual high-level debate.
“We reiterate that the failure of the international community, including the Security Council, to condemn this act of aggression would encourage Israel to persist in this hostile pursuit, and lead to an exacerbation of tensions in the region,” he said, charging “some sources in the United States” with spreading rumours to justify the act of aggression.
“Syria has the will to make a genuine peace that would recover the usurped rights, return the land to its rightful owners and guarantee peace for all,” he said, while the actions of Israel and United States suggested that they do not have the same will.
Regarding the situation in Iraq, he said a solution must begin with national reconciliation and stressed the need for “the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Iraq, subject to the agreement of the Iraqi Government, because this measure will contribute to curbing the violence.”
He condemned all terrorist acts committed in Iraq. “Random allegations that combatants are infiltrating into Iraq through the Syrian-Iraqi border cannot be further from the truth,” he said. “They fail to acknowledge the strict measures that Syria has put in place to control these borders.”
He said the purpose of these allegations “is assigning responsibility for the failure of the occupying power to achieve security and stability in Iraq to others.”
With 1.6 million Iraqi refugees in Syria today, he said the country is “bearing enormous financial burdens to satisfy their economic needs and provide them with services.” The international community, he added, had “failed to discharge its responsibility toward the Iraqi refugees.” Syria had received “almost negligible” assistance to date.
“The occupying power spends hundreds of billions of dollars on military operations inside Iraq but fails to allocate any resources to assist Iraqis who have been forced out of Iraq as a result of occupation and its concomitant repercussions.”
Addressing the situation in Lebanon, he said Syria had persistently supported solutions that would serve the common interests of the country’s people. “We believe that the run-up to the upcoming presidential elections constitutes a good basis for consensus building among the Lebanese to elect a president in accordance with constitutional prerogatives, free from foreign intervention and in a manner that would safeguard Lebanon’s interest and its Arab relations.”
Terrorism had spread further since the beginning of the ‘war on terrorism,’ he said, calling for efforts to address its root causes.
In addition, he said the international community must “firmly distinguish between terrorism and the peoples’ legitimate right to resist foreign occupation.”