Syria Warns Against Recognizing Rebel Council


Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem has threatened with “strict measures” against any country that would recognize the “illegitimate” Syrian opposition council.

Al-Moallem, who delivered his speech at the joint press conference with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) countries’ delegation in Damascus, said Syria would “adopt strict measures against any country which will recognize the illegitimate [opposition] council.”

Syrian opposition leaders announced the creation of the Transitional National Council, aimed at toppling Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad, during a meeting in Istanbul last week.

The minister also said that the government would continue to persecute “armed terrorist gangs responsible for the violence in the country” and killings of peaceful civilians.

Al-Moallem also hailed Russia and China for vetoing a UN Security Council draft resolution urging the Syrian regime to immediately stop violence against protesters or face “targeted measures.”

“We are in constant contact with Russian government concerning the situation in Syria,” Moallem said.

The number of victims of the Syrian unrest has climbed to some 3,000, according to the UN human rights body. The Syrian authorities, who have used force to quench nation-wide protests, deny the figure, speaking of 700 police and security officers killed by members of “terrorist gangs.”

Ria Novosti

RIA Novosti was Russia's leading news agency in terms of multimedia technologies, website audience reach and quoting by the Russian media.

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