World Powers Criticize Syria for Defying Cease-Fire Plan

Posted April 10th, 2012 at 7:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

World powers have denounced Syria for failing to begin implementing a cease-fire deal proposed by U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday the U.S. had seen no evidence of a government pullback in Syria and that the international community would judge President Bashar al-Assad's government on its actions, not its words.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said in a statement that “the Syrian president lied to Kofi Annan.” The statement said that “not only has the firing of heavy weapons not ended…but what was presented as a withdrawal is in fact only a thinly disguised redeployement.”

Juppe said he would bring up the Syrian question at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of Eight major industrialized nations in Washington on Wednesday.

In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said there is “no evidence so far that the Assad regime has any intention of adhering to any agreement it makes.”

The U.N. Security Council expressed “deep concern” about the level of commitment to a cease-fire the Syrian government has demonstrated so far.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, who holds the council presidency this month, said that if “Syria fails to fulfill its obligations, then the international community and the Security Council will have to decide whether to remain unified and take the next step.” She said “that would be to increase pressure on the Assad regime through collective action.”

Russia, an ally of the Syrian governmnet, also was politely critical. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “Syria's efforts to implement the plan could have been more active and resolute.”