India calls on Syria to dissociate from terror groups

UNITED NATIONS: As the crisis in Syria worsens, India has asked all parties in the troubled nation to dissociate themselves from terrorist groups, which it said are exploiting the increasingly militarized conflict.

Strongly condemning the terrorist acts that continue to be perpetrated in Syria against state institutions and public infrastructure, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri said the Syrian conflict has become increasingly more militarized, which is being exploited by well-known terrorist groups.

“We call upon all parties, Syrian as well as foreign, to dissociate themselves from terrorist groups and ensure that no space or justification is provided for terrorist acts,” Puri said at an UN General Assembly meeting on Syria yesterday.

He expressed concern that the Syrian parties have pursued a military approach to realize their objectives instead of seriously commencing a Syrian-led political process.

With the international community failing in its efforts to address the crisis, he said, there is an urgent need for countries to “close ranks and send a united message to the Syrian parties.”

The parties in Syria must be urged to recommit themselves to resolving the crisis peacefully through a Syrian-led inclusive political process that can meet the legitimate aspirations of all Syrian citizens.

“There is no other way to bring about a sustained cessation of violence in all its forms by all parties,” he added.

The nearly 18-month long crisis has affected the region as a whole and the deteriorating security situation has exacerbated the humanitarian sufferings of the Syrian population, Puri said. According to international aid groups, more than 2.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance with an ever-increasing number of displaced persons and refugees.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 103,416 people sought asylum in countries neighboring Syria in August, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration as of September 2 to 235,368 –
mainly in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.

“We strongly condemn all violence and violations of human rights irrespective of who their perpetrators are,” Puri said, adding that in order to assist the Syrian parties change their course and address the crisis through political dialogue.

He said that parties inside and outside Syria fully abide by their obligations under relevant UN resolutions.

“India firmly believes that it is critical for the United Nations to remain strongly engaged with the Syrian parties and other actors in search for a way forward,” he said.

Puri also expressed India’s consistent support for international efforts to assist the Syrian parties to resolve the crisis and bring about peace through dialogue and political processes.

He reiterated India’s support for new UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, saying it is encouraged by his assertion that he would spare no effort to work towards finding a solution to the Syrian crisis.

Puri urged both Syrian and foreign parties to cooperate with Brahimi to ensure that the Syrian crisis is resolved without any further bloodshed. -PTI

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