Syrian Permanent Representative’s Press Conference after the UNSC Resolution
The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution to send unarmed military observers to Syria.
The resolution authorizes the first 30 unarmed observers to establish contact and cooperation with the Syrian sides and delegates them to submit reports to ensure that all sides commit to ending armed violence until a UN mission is deployed.
The resolution calls upon the Syrian government and other sides to ensure appropriate conditions for the group of monitors to carry out their mission, without restricting their free movement and access to cities.
Al-Jaafari: Annan’s Mission Can Only Succeed with Syria’s Support… Sides Affiliated with Armed Groups Must Commit in Words and Actions
In a speech during the Security Council session, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, said that Syria took serious steps towards fulfilling its obligations as per the plan of UN Envoy Kofi Annan, and that it actually upheld its commitment to ceasing the missions of the armed forces on March 12th.
He affirmed that since the beginning, Syria welcomed Anna’s mission and dealt with its positively, sparing no effort to ensure its success, noting that Syria is providing Annan with regular written updates on the steps taken to implement his plan.
Al-Jaafari said that Syria agreed on the principle of UN observation which respects Syrian sovereignty, and that talks are underway with Annan and his team to formulate a protocol on deploying the observers.
He pointed out that Syria’s openness and commitment to Annan’s mission was met by an escalation of terrorism, which included the forced displacement of citizen to premade camps in neighboring countries in order to manufacture a refugee crisis which would be exploited politically to create so-called buffer zones and summon military intervention.
Al-Jaafari said that Syria is concerned over the ill intents of some Security Council member countries in terms of deliberately not holding armed groups accountable for their crimes, adding that Syria provided Annan with documented data on the violations committed by armed groups since the ceasefire came into effect, and that these violations number over 50.
He drew attention to the fact that those who claim to care for human rights continue to ignore the information provided by many international sides other than the Syrian government regarding the grave violations of human rights committed by armed groups in Syria, which include abduction, holding hostages, demanding ransom, torture, execution, recruiting children in combat, and using civilians as human shields.
Al-Jaafari pointed out to an article published in Germany’s Der Spiegel which contained an interview with two criminals hiding in Lebanon who confessed to the reporter that they slit the throats of 150 people in Syria on orders from their leaders in the armed groups.
He went on to say that Syria hopes that Annan will handle the crisis in an inclusive manner, stressing the need for Annan to make the necessary communication with the Arab, regional and international sides affiliated with the armed groups to guarantee their commitment to ending violence.
“Annan’s mission can’t be successful with only the Syrian governmental support… those countries must commit in words and actions to stopping the funding, arming and training of armed groups, refraining from encouraging them in continuing their terrorist acts, and providing safe havens to their members, as well as ceasing to prompt the Syrian opposition to reject any initiative for comprehensive national dialogue aiming to reach a political, peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria,” al-Jaafari said.
He noted that while Annan’s was holding dialogue in Syria, some were holding conferences in Istanbul in a clear attempt to circumvent his mission and the UN role and undermine his plan, adding that these conferences devised mechanism allowing Arab Gulf countries to finance armed groups by providing them with salaries, in addition to pledging USD 100 million to exasperate the crisis, in addition to the calls which were issued at the Security Council – particularly from Qatar’s Foreign Minister – for military intervention in Syria and establishing so-called safe zones, along with the Saudi Foreign Minister’s statement that arming the Syrian opposition is a “duty.”
Al-Jaafari asked how some countries can claim to support Annan’s plan while at the same time they take steps to fund armed terrorist groups, impose sanctions on the Syrian people, and call for direct military intervention, all of which contradicts the goal and logic of Annan’s plan.
He affirmed that continuing to support armed groups is a true threat to Annan’s plan, and that those responsible for this are responsible for the shedding of Syrian blood and the spread of terrorism in Syria, adding that countries who imposed the unjust economic sanctions on the Syrian people are accomplices in the crisis and thus are not allowed to bemoan the difficulties that Syrians are facing in their daily lives as they are largely responsible for them.
Al-Jaafari pointed out to the external manipulation of the Syrian Pound exchange rate and the steps taken to prevent Syrian expatriates from sending money to their families at home, in addition to damaging the Syrian energy sector, wondering if such actions ensure the Syrians’ welfare and demands for reforms.
He pointed out that the crisis in Syria is a geopolitics conflict over regional roles and a settlement of old and new scores, adding that some sides have a deep desire to bury the Palestinian cause in favor of other issues.
Al-Jaafari noted that in an earlier meeting, he relayed the news of the assassination of Saria Hassoun, the son of Syria’s Grand Mufti, at the hands of armed terrorist groups, and during this session he reported that the Syrian authorities apprehended the killers of Saria, adding that the two terrorists confessed that they committed the assassination in exchange for USD 800 each.
He said that some sides questioned his last speech before the Council over the existence of armed groups in Syria, adding “Today, fortunately, we heard many Council members urging those armed groups to discipline and adhere to Annan’s plan.”
Al-Jaafari pointed out that the resolution needs the loyalty of all countries which adopted it and continued supporting the armed groups in Syria, saying that Syria hopes for the countries which commit themselves to this resolution to comply to it practically by not sending lethal or non-lethal aid to the terrorists and armed groups in Syria because these funds and equipment are used to kill the Syrian people, including women, children, and the elderly.
He stressed that the Syrian people need help to live in peace and safety, not incitement, adding that the Syrians also need the unjust sanctions which cost them billions of dollars to be lifted.
Concluding his speech, al-Jaafari commented on France’s Representative Gerad Araud who told the Syrian people that “the time of violence is over” by saying “I agree with him, but I would like to remind him that the time of mandates had also gone and that his speech is inappropriate now as the Syrian people are to celebrate their Independence Day from the French occupation on April 17th.”
Churkin: Syrian Opposition Should Commit to Annan’s Plan
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that the draft resolution approved at the UN Security Council undergone radical amendments influenced by Russia to make it more balanced and reflective of the situation on the ground.
Churkin said ” Russia has cautioned from the very beginning against the use of force by any side, and called for a political solution to the problems in Syria through comprehensive dialogue.”
”Out of respect for Syria’s sovereignty, we’ve cautioned against foreign interference attempts or imposing unsuitable solutions, ” said Churkin, adding ”We also backed the draft resolution today, taking into consideration the need for sending a UN monitoring mission to Syria.”
He clarified that the resolution is not only for the Syrian government, but also for the opposition groups to fully cooperate with the monitors and implement Annan’s 6-point plan.
Churkin stressed that the observers’ mission needs a great deal of professionalism and objectivity, adding that it is necessary that circumstances be favorable, including ensuring the safety of the mission.
He added ”We are at a critical moment…and it is important that all Syrian sides, including the armed opposition, stop violence immediately, respect Annan’s plan and start organizing an extensive dialogue process.”
China’s Representative Stresses Beijing’s Support to Syria’s Unity, Peaceful Solution for the Crisis
China’s Representative to the UN Security Council, Li Baodong, stressed that Beijing supports the stability, independence and unity of Syria, pointing out to the necessity of solving the crisis peacefully through political dialogue and respecting the choices of the Syrian people.
“We encourage all sides, including the government and the opposition, to meet their commitments in stopping violence and creating the appropriate circumstances for a political process led by Syria,” he said in his speech before the Council.
He stressed that supporting Annan’s efforts is the best way to get out of the crisis and settle it peacefully.
Baodong called upon the international community to support Annan’s efforts, adding that “Efforts that may hinder Annan’s plan are unacceptable and should be opposed decisively.”
In turn, the representative of India stressed the need for countries – both those neighboring Syria and those who are farther away – to facilitate reaching a political solution to the crisis in Syria, while Azerbaijan’s representative stressed the need for emphasizing the Security Council’s commitment to the sovereignty, independence and integrity of Syria.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s representative said that this decision is an important step in achieving a peaceful resolution to the situation in Syria, while the Guatemalan representative said that this decision is a chance to reverse the cycle of violence and take the first step towards a better future for all Syrians.
Portugal’s representative limited his calls for cooperating with Annan to the Syrian government, excluding the opposition, while South Africa’s representative called all sides, including the violations, to maintain a ceasefire and welcomed the Syrian government’s commencement of carrying out its obligations.
Togo’s representative called upon those who have influence on the Syrian government and opposition to support this decision and pave the way for launching a comprehensive political process.
However, the US representative Susan Rice continued to show bias by neglecting all the reports that prove the opposition’s violations, preferring to pile on accusations against the Syrian government, with the British representative Mark Grant also recounted the lies and fabrications of biased channels and ignored the crimes of armed groups in his attempt to undermine Annan’s plan which have been ongoing since Syria agreed to it.
Similarly, France’s representative Gerard Araud recited a stream of lies and allegations that the French diplomacy have been pushing for months to misdirect public opinion, bringing into mind his country’s colonialist past and tendency to use force and threats in crises.
Meanwhile, Columbia’s representative seemed closer to objectivity as he began by saying that the decision to send observers is a step to resolving the crisis in Syria, but he then regressed to promoting fabrications similar to the ones made by the US, France and Britain, matching these countries in ignoring the crimes of terrorist groups.
The speech delivered by Germany’s representative Peter Wittig showed clear bias, ignoring the crimes committed by the armed groups since announcing the ceasefire and even going as far as to commend them for “ceasing combat,” something which these groups only did in the TV channels of their Gulf and Western accomplices. Wittig also turned a blind idea to the reports run by German media on the crimes of armed groups during his attempt to pass himself off as a defender of human rights.
M. Nassr/ M. Ismael / H. Sabbagh