France's Sarkozy urges UN to support Syrian people
French President Nicolas Sarkozy took a swipe at Syria on Tuesday for its harsh military repression of pro-democracy protesters, calling on the UN to give the Syrian people the same assistance given to the Libyans, dpa reported.
"I wish the Security Council would assume all responsibilities for the protection, using appropriate methods, for the Syrian people against the repression of the condemned regime (in Damascus)," Sarkozy told a high-level meeting on Libya in New York.
"The Syrian people also have the right to take their destiny into their own hands," he said in a renewed demand to support democracy and freedom in Syria.
Contrary to forceful actions taken against the Moamer Gaddafi regime, division within the council has so far prevented it from authorizing sanctions and military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashir Assad. Russia and China opposed sanctions against Syria, citing Damascus's important contribution to the Middle East peace process.
Sarkozy joined 21 heads of state and government, and dozens of government ministers, at UN headquarters to celebrate and to embrace the Transitional National Council, headed by Mustafa Abdel Jalil.
The new flag of Libya, adopted by Libyan rebel freedom fighters, was raised alongside the UN in New York for the first time.
Sarkozy said the Libyan people began their protests in February and they were not alone in fighting dictatorship.
"In this unequal but just struggle, the Libyan people were not alone," he said. He said some countries, which he did not name, preferred to watch the horror unfolding in Libya while others actively fought with the Libyan people and they will remain "as long as the threat against them remain."