Clinton urges UN action to end violence in Syria
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the Security Council on Tuesday that U.N. action to end the violence in Syria would be different from the NATO-led efforts in Libya that resulted in the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.
“I know that some members here may be concerned that the Security Council is headed toward another Libya,” she said. “That is a false analogy.”
Russia says it worries a draft measure aimed at Syria, currently before the council, could lead to military action and regime change — just as an Arab-backed U.N. resolution led to NATO airstrikes in Libya.
“It is time for the international community to put aside our own differences and send a clear message of support to the people of Syria,” Clinton said.
Her comments followed a rare call by the Arab League to condemn violence in a fellow Arab country, and adopt its peace plan calling on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step aside.
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby told the council that the league wanted the Security Council act “to support our initiative and not to take its place.”
“We are attempting to avoid any foreign intervention, particularly military intervention” in Syria, he said. “We have always stressed full respect of the security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian people.”