G8 to threaten Syria with UNSC action

Draft declaration from G8 summit warns that if Assad gov't does not stop crackdown, UNSC action will be considered, DPA reports.

Group of 8 (G8) in paris (R) 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)
Group of 8 (G8) in paris (R) 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)
G8 countries are preparing to threaten Syria with United Nations action over its violent crackdown on protesters, the German news agency DPA reported on Thursday, quoting a draft-summit declaration.
According to the report, the G8 was “appalled” by the deaths of hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators “as a result of the sweeping use of violence by Syrian authorities,” and was planning to call on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government to “immediately” stop the crackdown, and free all political prisoners.
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“Should the Syrian authorities not heed this call, we will consider action in the United Nations Security Council,” the draft, obtained by DPA, warns.
The draft comes as the EU on Monday imposed sanctions on Assad and other Syrian officials. EU foreign ministers agreed at a meeting in Brussels to expand restrictions against Syria by adding Assad and nine senior members of the government to a list of those subject to a freeze of assets, and banned from traveling to the EU.
The support of G8 member Russia for UNSC action against Syria had looked uncertain until now, reported DPA. However, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev commented to his US counterpart Barack Obama on Thursday that Russia would not support a resolution on Syria if it was similar to the resolution that approved military intervention in Libya.
On Libya, the G8 was also due to call for an “immediate” end to attacks by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces against civilians, and to express support for a political settlement to the country’s three-month revolt.
“We are committed to supporting a political solution that reflects the will of the Libyan people,” the draft was cited as reading by DPA, and added that Gaddafi “must go.”
A final declaration by leaders of the G8 countries is expected be released at the end of the summit on Friday.
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Click for full Jpost coverage of turmoil in the Middle East