Morocco King Mohammed urges security council's Syria action

Wednesday December 12 2012

By ENOCK WAMBUA in Marrakech, Morocco

The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, has urged the United Nations Security Council to urgently adopt a unified resolution in support of transfer of power in Syria.

In a statement read on his behalf by his Foreign Affairs minister Dr Saad Dine el Otmani, at the opening ceremony of the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People's Group in Makarrech, Morocco Wednesday, the King emphasizes his country's support for the Syrian people's demands for freedom, democracy and dignity.

He called for a resolute international action to avert suffering of Syrians saying that President Assad's regime "has threatened to resort to weapons of mass destruction and carry out particularly lethal operations".

William Burns, the US assistant secretary of state, is among representatives from more than 100 countries attending the meeting.

Mr Burns assured the Syrian people of US support in their resolve to achieve full political transition.

He said US President Barack Obama's recognition of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was an indication of America's determination to ensure the establishment of a full transition authority in Syria.

"Change is coming (to Syria) one way or another," Mr Burns told meeting.

He said the US will continue to increase pressure on the Assad regime through sanctions to government and individual perpetrators of violence against the people of Syria.

Mr Burns said the US targets to provide humanitarian aid to 1.5 million Syrians in and outside Syria adding that the national coalition will be assisted to create the necessary transitional structures of governance.

Take steps

He urged the coalition to take steps that would ensure an all inclusive government that brings on board women and minority groups in Syria.

Mr Burns assured the local councils in Syria of America's support to provide basic governance services.

He told the international community that it was time to support Syrians "to achieve a democratic transition for  better future of all Syrians".

He said the US will continue to engage Russian authorities to support political transition in Syria.

Russia and China, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, have opposed a proposed resolution to support regime change in Syria.

The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague said his country was determined to ensure Syria was liberated.

"Assad should not doubt the resolve of the United Kingdom to push for full transition in Syria," he said.

Mr Hague urged Russia and China to vote with the other UN Security Council permanent members in support of political transition in Syria.

He told the meeting that more than 50 percent of the Syrian refugees are children who represent the future of their country. He said the UK government had sent experts to document sexual violence in Syria with a view to prosecuting perpetrators.

Mr Hague said the international community should continue to exert pressure on Assad and his allies to stop the killing and suffering of innocent Syrians.

On his part, Turkey's Foreign Affairs minister Alein Jupe said his country will continue to work closely with the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces to ensure that the Syrian people don't feel neglected in their suffering.

He said Turkey will continue to offer humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people inside and outside their country.

Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon are among Syria's the neighbours who have continued to bear the greatest responsibility in hosting Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict at home.

The top leadership of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces attended the meeting.

On Tuesday, President Obama declared his government's support for the coalition saying it is "the legitimate representative of the Syrian people."