Saturday 18 February 2012 11:32
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NATO will not intervene in Syria: Rasmussen
Islam Times - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the Western military alliance will not intervene in Syria even in the event of a United Nations “mandate to protect civilians.”
NATO will not intervene in Syria: Rasmussen
"We have no intention whatsoever to intervene in Syria," Rasmussen said on Friday in Ankara, during a visit to mark the 60th anniversary of Turkey joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

He called on regional countries to find a way to solve the Syrian crisis.

When asked in an interview if NATO's stance would change with a UN mandate on Syria, he stated, "No, I don't think so because Syria is also a different society, it is much more complicated ethnically, politically, religiously. That's why I do believe that a regional solution should be found.”

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly adopted an Arab League-sponsored resolution on Syria for what it calls the government's crackdown on opposition protests.

The non-binding resolution was drafted by the Arab League and backed by the United States and Britain.

The Syrian ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari dismissed the resolution as biased and unbalanced.

Jaafari said that Damascus has the right to protect its citizens against what he called armed gangs. He blamed the violence on armed terrorist groups and added that no country would tolerate the presence of such groups on its soil.

The General Assembly resolution has no real power without a similar vote in the UN Security Council.

So far, China and Russia have vetoed two anti-Syria resolutions at the UN Council.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March last year.
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