Tuesday, October 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

USA blocks Syria’s draft
Says it’s on wrong side of war on terrorism

United Nations, October 6
Syria has demanded that the UN Security Council condemns Israel for attacking a purported Palestinian training camp near Damascus, but Israel has countered by saying that the raid was self-defence against terrorism. The 15-nation council met in an emergency session yesterday to consider a Syrian-drafted resolution accusing Israel of violating international law and expressing ‘’grave concern with the escalating situation in West Asia.

Syrian Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad, the only Arab among the council members, called for an immediate vote on the draft, but US Ambassador John Negroponte said the measure would first have to be sent to capitals for study and made clear that the United States would not support the draft.

During the public council meeting, dozens of ambassadors from West Asia denounced Israel. All council members who spoke, except the United States, denounced both the Haifa attack and the raid on Syria. Negroponte said: “The United States believes that Syria is on the wrong side of the war on terrorism.”

Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said he was appalled the council was meeting hours before the Yom Kippur holiday and left the council as soon as he finished speaking. He said Syria should be in the dock for what he called harbouring terrorists.

British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry strongly condemned the Haifa bombing, but said Israel’s attack represented an escalation of the conflict. Spanish Ambassador Inocencio Arias told the council that the attack was a clear violation of international law. Pakistani Ambassador Muni Akram was tougher, saying: “The answer to individual acts of terrorism is not state terrorism.”

Reports from elsewhere say while Moscow has said it would support a UN resolution in connection with the airstrike by Israel, Germany has said the Israel-Palestinian crisis requires political and not military solutions.

The Islamic group Hamas has vowed to strike back. Meanwhile, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has named Ahmed Qurie his new prime minister and declared a state of emergency in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. — Reuters


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