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Cut ties with Syria, urges Tunisia PM

After a UN resolution to ask Al-Assad to step down failed, the Tunisian PM appeals to Arab states for action: cut diplomatic ties with Assad regime to further pressure it to end the ten-month bloodshed

AFP, Sunday 5 Feb 2012
Syria bloodshed
Bodies of children killed by the Syrian government army are seen at a medical centre in Karm Al Zaytoon near Homs January 26, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
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Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali called Sunday on all countries to cut off diplomatic relations with Syria over the violence there.

"We have to expel Syrian ambassadors from Arab and other countries," Jebali said during a panel discussion on the Middle East at a security conference in the southern German city of Munich.

"The Syrian people do not expect from us today long statements ... they are expecting deeds, they are expecting concrete measures ... the very least we can do is to cut all relations to the Syria regime," added Jebali.

He said the veto of Russia and China on Saturday against a UN resolution aimed at stopping the violence showed that the Security Council system was broken.

The veto was "a right that was misused and undoubtedly the international community has to reconsider this mechanism of decision taking," said Jebali.

Tunisia, whose revolution a year ago sparked the chain of other popular uprisings across the Arab world, including Syria, announced Saturday it would expel the Syrian ambassador and stop recognising the Damascus regime.

The call came after one of the bloodiest weekends since the uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad's regime erupted almost 11 months ago, with more than 200 civilians killed during a massive assault by regime forces in the central flashpoint of Homs.

Speaking at the same event, Yemeni Nobel peace laureate Tawakkul Karman also called on the international community to expel Syrian ambassadors from their countries and recall diplomats in the wake of the violence there.

"I urge you in the name of the peaceful rebels to expel Syrian ambassadors from your countries and I urge you to call back your ambassadors in Damascus," Karman said.

China and Russia, which vetoed a UN resolution aimed at ending the bloodshed in Syria, "bear the moral and human responsibility for these massacres," she said.

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