UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution on Wednesday expressing outrage at “widespread and systematic gross violations” by Syrian authorities.
The resolution, initiated by Saudi Arabia on behalf of dozens of states including the U.S., is one of the strongest criticisms yet of the regime of President Bashar Assad. It also expresses “grave concern at the spread of extremism and extremist groups” in Syria.
The resolution, approved 127 to 13, with 47 countries abstaining, is not legally binding, but it’s a strong expression of world opinion on the conflict in Syria, where fighting between the government and opposition has left more than 100,000 dead.
The U.N. Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, has been largely stalled on taking strong action on Syria because of vetoes from Russia, the country’s top ally.
The Syrian ambassador to the U.N., Bashar Ja’afari, called the General Assembly resolution “outrageously hostile.”
Ja’afari also criticized Saudi Arabia, which backs the rebels and has strongly criticized the Security Council’s failure to resolve Syria’s civil war, as a supporter of terrorists “throughout the world.”
The British mission to the U.N. called the vote a “strong result.”
The resolution condemns the use of chemical weapons in Syria and “strongly points” to their use by the Syrian government in an Aug. 21 poison gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta.
It also notes that the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference have held the Syrian government “fully responsible” for the Ghouta attacks, and calls on the Security Council to take “the necessary measures against all those responsible for the chemical weapons attack” to ensure accountability.
The resolution demands an end to all human rights abuses, the immediate release of all detainees and immediate steps by the Syrian government to expand humanitarian relief operations.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates