FACTBOX-World alarmed at violence in Syria

Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:19pm GMT
 

-- Separately, U.N. investigators said on Thursday Syria's crackdown on anti-government protesters might be grounds for prosecutions for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC). "The mission found a pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population, which may amount to crimes against humanity," their report said.

* SAUDI ARABIA: King Abdullah said on Aug. 7 that Syria's military crackdown had "nothing to do with religion, or values, or ethics." Abdullah said: "Syria should think wisely before it's too late and issue and enact reforms. Either it chooses wisdom on its own or it will be pulled down into the depths of turmoil and loss." He also recalled his ambassador from Syria.

* TURKEY: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu asked Assad to halt military operations or face unspecified consequences. "This is our final word to the Syrian authorities, our first expectation is that these operations stop immediately and unconditionally," Davutoglu said.

* RUSSIA: President Dmitry Medvedev made an appeal to Assad on Aug. 4. "He needs to urgently carry out reforms, reconcile with the opposition, restore peace and set up a modern state," Medvedev said in an interview with Russian media. "If he fails to do this, he will face a sad fate."

* ITALY: Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said he fully supported Ashton's statements. "Due to the complete convergence of our positions, the foreign minister feels there is nothing to add to the firm stance taken by the European Union," the ministry said in a statement.

* SWEDEN: Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told Reuters: "We are now trying to increase the pressure. We are now saying that President Assad has to step aside. He has exhausted his legitimacy and his credibility in that the repression and the violence have continued."

Analyst comments:

ROSEMARY HOLLIS, LONDON'S CITY UNIVERSITY   Continued...

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