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Sun Nov 23 07:56:44 SAST 2014

South Africa supports UN Security Council on Syria

Sapa | 06 February, 2012 12:12
Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the town of Hula near the city of Homs. File photo
Image by: HANDOUT / REUTERS

The Syrian people must decide their own fate, including their future leadership, the South African government said on Monday.

International relations spokesman Clayson Monyela said there should be no foreign interference in the decision-making processes on the future of Syria.

On Saturday, China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria which would have encouraged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power after nearly a year of fighting between the government and opposition groups.

The Arab League wants Assad to hand over power to a deputy and begin the transition to democracy. The UN resolution supported this process.

"Any solution must preserve the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria," said Monyela.

"We were satisfied that the final draft resolution was not aimed at imposing regime change in Syria, which would be against the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations."

South Africa voted in favour of the UN resolution because it facilitated Syrian-led political dialogue with the aim of achieving long-term peace and stability.

Monyela said the League of Arab States had both knowledge of and proximity to the situation in Syria, which is currently suspended from the league because of its government's resistance to move towards democracy.

"It should be supported and given the necessary political space to find a solution to the crisis," said Monyela.

For regional and international peace and security, the situation in Syria needed the global community to act responsibly, he said.

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