Syria opposes no-fly zone
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Bouthaina Shaaban, the Syrian President’s special envoy, told reporters on Monday that a proposal by Western countries to set up a no-fly zone over Syria would be considered an act of aggression. She said Syria will not accept any aggression and will defend itself. The envoy also said supporting rebels with arms and money was an interference in Syria and a violation of Syrian sovereignty, and such support was the reason for the continued violence in Syria during the past 18 months.
The same day, in a talk with the new UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, French President Francois Hollande insisted that there can be no political solution for Syria unless President Bashar al-Assad steps down. Hollande confirmed France’s commitment to a Syria that is free, democratic, and respectful of human rights, and assured Brahimi of France’s support for his mission.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that only the UN Security Council can authorize the use of force against Syria. Lavrov said the situation in Syria is important and worrying not only because of the bloodshed but also because the outcome of this crisis will impact the way that conflicts will be resolved. The Minister said other countries need to respect the accords that were reached in Geneva last June, and that negotiations to form an interim government cannot begin until the violence ceases.