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Germany demands UN meeting on Syria

The Local · 1 Aug 2011, 07:20

Published: 01 Aug 2011 07:20 GMT+02:00

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Germany holds the rotating Security Council presidency until midnight on Sunday, after which India takes over for the whole of August. Spokesman Alexander Eberl said his mission had asked India to schedule closed-door council consultations for Monday.

The request came after up to 95 people were killed in the Syrian city of Hama when government troops moved in on Sunday to crush protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Sunday sharply condemned the military crackdown on demonstrators in Syria and threatened new sanctions Assad's regime.

"I am deeply shocked by what we are currently seeing in Syria," Westerwelle said in a statement issued by his ministry amid reports that some 95 people were killed on Sunday after the military opened fire on anti-government demonstrators in the central Syrian city of Hama.

"The federal government calls on President Assad to immediately end violence against peaceful demonstrators," and engage in a dialogue, the minister said.

"If President Assad fails to change course, we and our partners in the EU will impose new sanctions," he said.

The 27-nation European Union has already slapped asset freezes and travel bans on the Damascus regime, including against Assad.

Westerwelle also said that Germany was stepping up diplomatic efforts to convince fellow members of the council to condemn the regime's conduct.

France, Britain, Germany and Portugal have previously proposed a Security Council resolution condemning Assad's crackdown, but Russia and China have voiced strong opposition, while Brazil, South Africa and India have also raised objections.

Story continues below…

Since anti-regime protests broke out, the crackdown on dissent has resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 civilians and more than 360 members of the security forces, according to a Syrian Observatory toll.

More than 12,000 people are also reported to have been arrested in the crackdown, although it is not clear how many of them have since been released.

AFP/The Local

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:01 August 1, 2011 by Bushdiver
Germany demands! Are they even a member of the UN? You can bet your butt that if more is needed other than a meeting such as military envolvement then the Germans will be the first to drop their demands. I always have to laugh at heading that include Germany demands.
10:12 August 1, 2011 by harcourt
Bravo Germany !! Shouldering your responsibilities at the last minute/second! Pathetic !!
10:19 August 1, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ Bushdiver

Your question about UN membership shows how far are you from knowing what's happening in the world. Let's help you a bit.

Without using military intervention, Germany pretty much gets what it demands. Couple of recent examples: Germany demanded that private investors step up for Greece bailout and it happened. On January 2, 2011, Germany demanded EU to publicly condemn the interferences in the Belarus elections and 10 days later it happened. Germany demanded that journalist Maryam Majd be released by the Iranian government and that happened as well.

@ harcourt

Germany's fast reaction was an answer to the events on Sunday (so the same day).
11:36 August 1, 2011 by marimay
Yes, very good of Germany to react on Sunday and not on any of the 100 days prior. ;)

And are you saying other countries would have used military action to get private investors to invest in a failed EU country? Or, any of your other examples? Hmmm.. Interesting.
11:53 August 1, 2011 by ChrisRea
Marimay, the article is about Germany acting as President of the Security Concil. 100 days ago Germany did not hold this position, as the presidency rotates monthly in alphabetical order.

And yes, I say that other countries used military action to get what they want, for example to free journalists. Need examples? Run a Google search.
12:18 August 1, 2011 by marimay
WW1 and 2 came up.
12:39 August 1, 2011 by harcourt
ChrisRea #3

Come on! The uprising has been going on for over FOUR MONTHS. During Germanys tenure of the chair of the Security Council many, many similar attacks with tanks and heavy weaponry have occured against towns all over Syria. Maybe with not quite such a high loss of life as on Sunday. I know your criteria is the numbers killed or, in the case of Herr Gleffe, saved. I'm afraid sitting on one's hands until the deaths rise above a certain threshhold doesn't wash with me. I guess that had Gaddafi massacred thousands in Benghazi THEN Germany might not have sat on the fence!
14:32 August 1, 2011 by Bushdiver
@ ChrisRea...........I was being sarcastic when I said is Germany part of the UN. I wouldn't consider the three examples you listed as Germany getting what it demands. For the most part Germany sits on it's ass and lets other NATO members pick up the slack. BTW, we'll see how Germany's demands that private investors help bail out Greece works out. It's not like Germany has much of a choice since Germany has already made a bad investment to begin with. Demanding is a whole lot different than actually participating in a commitment. Germany is a joke with their demands.
15:21 August 1, 2011 by catjones
Or what.........?
16:23 August 1, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Until Germany gets its long-overdue permanent seat on the security council, there really shouldn't be any automatic expectation for it to engage in every police action that may or may not be a good idea.
17:44 August 1, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ Bushdiver

I was referring to your inappropriate sarcasm when I said that you do not know what's happening in the world. Just as you do not know that Germany's demand related to Greece did worked out - private investors already jumped in. You might laugh at Germany's demands, but the members of the Security Council do not. CNN reported that a meeting was scheduled for today. The briefing will take place at 5 p.m. ET. See, you learned something today.
18:09 August 1, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
They put very harsh resrtictions (acutally, an embargo!) on Cuba, and look how effective that was in crushing their regime. Economic sanctions are a luke-warm, hap-hazzard method of dealing with a crisis when the situation actually demands swift action. Nobody wants to get their hands dirty - Germany included - and who could blame them? It isn't Europe's mess to clean up. They are refusing to take on the role of the USA, who are effectively the police of the world.
18:40 August 1, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ Jack Kerouac

US plays the role of police only when is suits its interests. When a profit can arise, it has no problem to befriend dictators. When the economic interests of American corporations in a certain country are in danger, then US says that there a bad guys to be punished there and uses military force.

There is no real institution of justice which is recognised worldwide, so there can not be a police of the world.
00:20 August 2, 2011 by DrStrangelove
We need a meeting urgently so that we can put our abstention on the record.
08:38 August 2, 2011 by ChrisRea
As reported by CNN: "The four European members of the Security Council -- Britain, France, Germany and Portugal -- have revived a draft U.N. resolution that would likely condemn the government of President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats said after the meeting."
11:28 August 2, 2011 by harcourt
I'm waiting for the day when an Arab country does a bit of condemning, forget the Arab League they're useless !!
13:05 August 3, 2011 by HistoryProffessor
The country of Germany will never recieve a perm. seat on the Security Council...

Are you kidding me?

BTW i agree with Marimay and Harcourt, Germany has never reacted uquickly to anything. And when they do, they are on the wrong side lol.

You can only count on germany to do the following: stand aside and complain, make meaningless demands, and wait for other to take actions on the german convictions.

Germany has very little respect in the world when it comes to Security. I give them credit for establishing themselves in the top economically however, most countries just laught at one germany has to say on anything else. I have on both UN and NATO meetings and the looks on the faces of everyone when Germans speak is that of complete mockery
19:33 August 3, 2011 by Jack Kerouac

I know there can't actually be a "police of the world", I was using that state to reflect how Americans perceive themselves and their role in the international community. It's almost like the politicnas feel they have a right to determine the course of events in any given country where there is a crisis (and you're right, probably because the USA's interests are threatened).
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