South Africa says no to unilateral military action against Syria

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-9-6 22:49:22

South Africa does not support military intervention in Syria because such an action has not been sanctioned by the UN Security Council, a government officials said on Friday.

South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim said at a media briefing in Pretoria that his country was concerned with political unrest in Syria.

South Africa condemns the alleged use of chemical weapons that resulted in the deaths of innocent people in the District of Ghouta in the eastern Damascus last month, he said.

"The use of these weapons in Syria is of serious concern, which we condemn. No cause could ever justify the use of weapons of mass destruction," Ebrahim said.

He, however, cautioned that South Africa will not support military action against Syrian authorities without the mandate of the UN Security Council.

"The UN Charter, which is the supreme standard of international law, is clear that only the United Nations Security Council can mandate the use of military force, and only if other measures are deemed insufficient in bringing about a peaceful resolution of a conflict situation," he said.

South Africa calls on countries to give UN inspectors a chance to conclude their investigation on whether the Syrian authorities used chemical weapons against its own people.

"Military intervention will serve no other purpose than hurting the possibility of a speedy diplomatic solution to the conflict and no effort should be spared to convene the proposed Geneva II Peace Conference as soon as possible.

"We are concerned that the use of chemical weapons, as deplorable as it is, will detract from the larger picture of finding a sustainable resolution to the conflict in Syria, which should remain the primary focus of the international community," said Ebrahim.

He urged all sides in Syria to engage in dialogue in order to get an amicable solution to their political differences. South Africa also calls on members of the UN Security Council to unite in urging Syrians to reach a negotiated settlement, he said.

Posted in: Africa

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