Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Shimon Peres calls for Arab intervention in Syria

Israel's President Shimon Peres called for an Arab intervention "to stop the massacre" in Syria as he delivered a speech to the European Parliament on Tuesday.

The free world "cannot stand by when a massacre is carried out by the  Syrian president against his own people and his own children. It breaks all our hearts," he said.

Peres said that "the intervention of Western forces would be perceived as foreign interference,"  and that the best option to end the Syrian conflict "might be achieved by empowering the Arab League, of which Syria is a member, to intervene."

The 22-member Arab League pulled out its observer mission to Syria after only a month in January last year amid controversy after failing to halt the regime's campaign against the rebels.

"The Arab League can and should form a provisional government in Syria to stop the massacre, to prevent Syria from falling to pieces," Peres told the 754-member European Parliament.

"The United Nations should support the Arab League to build an Arab force in blue helmets," he said.
Asked at a news conference immediately afterwards whether he was indeed calling for military intervention by an Arab force, Peres said he did mean "a force" but that its actions could be as a peacekeeping force and "not necessarily military".

Peres warned that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was a threat to the entire region because of his arsenal of chemical weapons which must be prevented from falling into the wrong hands.

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