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BBC News - Syria 'emboldened by UN inaction'

The failure of the UN security council to take action has emboldened Syria to make an "all out assault" on opponents, the UN's human rights chief says.

Navi Pillay told the UN the lack of agreement encouraged Damascus to use "overwhelming force" against protests.

Activists say more than 400 people have been killed since security forces launched an assault on opposition-held areas in the city of Homs this month.

Earlier, the Arab League called for a joint Arab-UN peacekeeping force. 'Simply deplorable'

Ms Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, referred to the decision of Russia and China earlier this month to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down.

She told UN delegates in New York: "The failure of the Security Council to agree on firm collective action appears to have emboldened the Syrian government to plan an all out assault in an effort to crush resistance with overwhelming force.

by Nomad on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 04:53:22 PM EST
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Russia balks at Syria peacekeeping plan - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
Russia's foreign minister has made it clear  that Moscow would not support a plan to send United Nations peacekeepers to Syria unless there was a halt to violence by both government forces and their armed opponents.

Serei Lavrov said on Monday that Russia was studying the proposal for a joint UN-Arab peacekeeping force in Syria, announced on Sunday at an Arab League meeting in Cairo, and wanted more details.

But his remarks suggested his country, which has veto power at the UN Security Council, would use the proposal to
underscore its own argument that the government's armed opponents are no less of an obstacle to peace than Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

UN peacekeeping missions "need to first have a peace to support," Lavrov told a news conference after talks with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister.

"In other words, it is necessary to agree to something like a ceasefire, but the tragedy is that the armed groups that are
confronting the forces of the regime are not subordinate to anyone and are not under control," Lavrov said in Moscow.
by Nomad on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 04:55:18 PM EST
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Cameron and Sarkozy to discuss help for Syrian rebels | Politics | The Guardian

David Cameron and the French president Nicolas Sarkozy are to meet in Paris on Friday to discuss a possible increase in help to Syrian rebels, including giving them military advice.

The meeting, held in the context of the annual Anglo-French summit, will occur the day after Sarkozy is expected formally to declare his intention to run for a second term as French president.

The two leaders are likely to discuss what practical help they can give the Free Syrian Army, and how best to progress ideas for a UN-Arab League peacekeeping force.

A string of defence deals, including for drones, are also due to be announced involving co-operation between BAE Systems and Dassault. Sarkozy is currently badly trailing the French Socialist candidate for president, François Hollande, by 10 points in the polls, and has enlisted the help of the German chancellor Angela Merkel in an effort to gain momentum.

Hollande has said he wanted to woo Britain back into the heart of Europe and sought to reassure the City of London it should not fear his drive for more regulation of the financial world.

by Nomad on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 04:57:18 PM EST
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Oh noes, not the dreaded military advisers. We know where that's headed

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 14th, 2012 at 01:33:29 AM EST
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