Austrian FM: Assad must answer for Syria abuses

December 9, 2011 15:27

VIENNA - Syrian President Bashar Assad must step down immediately and be held accountable for any human rights abuses committed during a crackdown on opposition protesters, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said on Friday.

As a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Austria had a duty to help highlight the "atrocities of the regime" and to ensure they are judged at an international level, he said in a statement after meeting the main Syrian opposition leader in exile.

"There can be no impunity. Assad will have to answer for his offenses," Spindelegger said after meeting Syrian National Council leader Burhan Ghalioun in Vienna.

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