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UN adopts resolution against Assad; gets support from India

world Updated: Feb 18, 2012 01:03 IST
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India was among 137 members of the UN General Assembly that voted on Friday to approve a resolution, which "strongly" condemns all violence and human rights violations in Syria and supports Arab League efforts to resolve the nearly year long crisis in the country.

The resolution, adopted by a vote of 137 in favour to 12 against with 17 abstentions, also called on Syria "to immediately put an end to all human rights violations and attacks against civilians."

The vote, though non-binding in nature, is seen as a strong rebuke to President Bashar Al Assad's continued and bloody crackdown on protesters during the pro-democracy uprising that began in March last year.

In explaining India's vote on the UNGA resolution, Permanent Representative Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri said, "We think that prolonged instability and unrest in Syria have serious implications for peace and stability in the wider region. We strongly condemn all violence, irrespective of whoever the perpetrators are. We also condemn all violations of human rights.

"Our support for the resolution adopted by this Assembly today is in accordance with our support for the efforts by the Arab League for a peaceful resolution of the crisis through a Syrian-led inclusive political process," Puri added.

Among the nations to oppose the resolution in the 193-member General Assembly were China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.Speaking before the vote in the Assembly, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari called the draft a "biased" text that has nothing to do with the situation in his country.

France, Britain to help opposition
Meanwhile, France and Britain have pledged to help the Syrian opposition in its struggle against Bashar al-Assad's regime but said conditions were not right for a foreign intervention as in Libya.

Meeting for a summit in Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed support for a conference to form an international coalition dubbed the Friends of Syria next week in Tunis.

"We cannot accept that a dictator massacre his own people, but the revolution will not be brought from outside, it will rise from inside Syria, as it has done elsewhere," Sarkozy said.

NYT correspondent Shadid dies in Syria
In a separate development, New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid had been shot in the West Bank in 2002 and kidnapped for six days in Libya last year, but it was an apparent asthma attack that killed the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner in Syria while he was reporting on the uprising against its president.

Shadid, who died Thursday at age 43, strove to capture untold stories in Middle East conflicts from Libya to Iraq.