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Jordan: Dialogue no longer a solution for Syria

PM of Hashemite Kingdom says bloodshed must be stopped before a compromise can be found between the opposition and the Syrian regime

AFP , Monday 16 Jul 2012
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Dialogue is no longer a solution to ending the slaughter in Syria and the United Nations' Security Council must step in, Jordan's Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh said in the Czech capital Prague Monday.

"It's impossible to resolve the situation in Syria through a dialogue today," Jordan's Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh said in the Czech capital Prague Monday. "But we're still talking about a political solution -- [first] stop the bloodshed, then we can find a compromise between the opposition and the Syrian regime," he added, urging the Security Council to intervene, a move currently blocked by Russia and China.

"It is necessary to exert big pressure on the Syrian government," said Tarawneh, who is also Jordan's minister of defence.

He said Jordan had so far received 135,000 refugees from neighbouring Syria where more than 17,000 people -- including women, children and infants -- have been killed during a revolt against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad that erupted in March 2010, according to human rights watchdogs.

He also bemoaned the difficult humanitarian situation as Jordan lacks water and money. "But we're fulfilling our humanitarian duty towards our brothers," he said.

UN and Arab League Syria envoy Kofi Annan and his successor as UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, head for Russia and China on Monday to press the two Security Council doubters to back tougher action against Assad.

However Russia on Monday accused Western powers of using "blackmail" to get its backing for possible UN sanctions against Damascus.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also told reporters in Moscow it was "unrealistic" for Western powers to expect Russia to convince Assad to step down simply because Moscow is a long-standing ally of his regime.

"He will not leave power. And this is not because we are protecting him, but because there is a very significant part of the Syrian population behind him," Lavrov argued.

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