Envoys from India, South Africa, Brazil head to Syria

Indian envoy to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri
United Nations, Aug 9: Representatives from India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) will be in Syria today (Aug 9) to appeal to authorities in Damascus to end the escalating violence against civilians and implement democratic reforms, Indian envoy to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri has said.

Puri on Monday said the Indian representative along with the envoys of Brazil and South Africa will reach Damascus on Tuesday and "within the next day or so they will meet the foreign minister of Syria."

Speaking to reporters here, Puri said the IBSA delegation will be calling on the Syrian authorities for "restraint, abjuring violence, promoting reform taking into account the democratic aspirations of the people."

The UN Security Council, whose presidency for the month of August is with India, had in a presidential statement last week condemned "the widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities." The statement calls for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report to council members tomorrow on the latest situation.

Puri said the Council will review the situation in light of the statement from the Secretary General.

The violent crackdown in Syria has drawn sharp criticism from world leaders, who have asked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to immediately stop the use of military force against civilians.

The 22-member Arab League has said it is "alarmed" by the situation in Syria. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council also criticized Syria's "use of excess force." Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have recalled their ambassadors from Damascus for consultations.


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