UN rights chief urges big powers not to send arms to Syria

By REUTERS
May 29, 2013 14:15

 
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GENEVA - The top UN human rights official urged global powers on Wednesday not to supply Syria with weapons and to press both sides in its civil war to find a political solution to prevent more massacres and threats to regional stability.

"If the current situation persists, or deteriorates further, increased inter-communal massacres are a certainty, rather than a risk," said Navi Pillay, addressing an urgent debate at the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

"The message from all of us should be the same: we will not support this conflict with arms, ammunition, politics or religion," she told the 47-member Geneva forum.

Pillay spoke after the European Union decided to let an EU arms embargo on Syria expire and Russia said it would deliver an advanced S-300 air defense system to the Damascus government despite US, French and Israeli objections.

France and Britain, the EU's strongest military powers and most ardent advocates of scrapping the embargo, said they had not yet decided to arm Syrian rebels, but wanted to put Assad - who enjoys Russian support - under pressure to negotiate.

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