Saturday, June 30, 2012

No Libyan Model for Syria, Says President Assad

No Libyan model for Syria, Assad says

DAMASCUS, Syria, June 29 (UPI) -- Last year's intervention in Libya shouldn't be viewed as the model to settle the crisis in Syria, the Syrian president told Iranian media.

The Arab League in March 2011 called on the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians from attacks from forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Members of the international community meet Saturday in Geneva in support of a U.N.-Arab League peace measure for Syria led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Annan's plan called for an April cease-fire, though there were few signs the deal was honored on the ground.

Syrian President Bashar Assad said, during an interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting network, the Libyan model wouldn't work for his country. Syria, he said, had strongly opposed the Libyan intervention.

"Consequently, immediately following our decision (to oppose the Libya bombings), they (the West) acted through the Arab League to put the attack on Syria on their agenda," he was quoted as saying. "This has been the Arab League reality in the past, as it is at present."

Assad accused Western powers of acting out "colonialist" ambitions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, in a statement published by RIA Novosti, said there should be no alternative to a "peaceful political settlement in Syria."

Moscow has stated its opposition to formal action against Syria at the United Nations.

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