Syrian Foreign Minister Accuses West of Fomenting Terror
Syria’s foreign minister blasted U.S. and other Western and Arab nations at the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, accusing them of supporting terrorism by supplying weapons and guidance to rebels fighting for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
In an address webcast worldwide on U.N. television, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem also branded calls for Assad to step down as “blatant interference in the domestic affairs of Syria.” He said the appeals for regime change were made by “those who are ignorant of the facts or may be ignoring them.”
The U.S. says it supplies non-lethal assistance to the rebels but not weaponry. Some states in the gulf region have sent arms to the opposition forces in Syria.
Moallem named the United States, France, Turkey, Libya, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as states “that clearly induce and support terrorism in Syria with money, weapons and foreign fighters.” He was referring to support for the rebels who have been battling Assad’s forces in an 18-month uprising against the autocratic government.
Moallem directed his harshest words at “some members of the U.N. Security Council,” referring to U.S.-backed resolutions to condemn the Syrian government for atrocities committed during the fighting and to demand that Assad step aside and allow negotiations on a new leadership. The proposed resolutions failed to get the necessary unanimous support of the five permanent Security Council members, as Russia and China refused to back them.
Assad’s loyalists have cast the rebellion in Syria as the work of foreign terrorists rather than a domestic uprising aimed at breaking the government’s stranglehold on political power.