Syria warns nations against recognising rebel council

October 9th, 2011 - 11:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Damascus, Oct 9 (IANS) Syria has threatened countries with “strict measures” if they recognised the “illegitimate” Syrian opposition council, RIA Novosti reported.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, while addressing a joint press conference with a Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) countries’ delegation in Damascus, said Syria would “adopt strict measures against any country which will recognise 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 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, stating 700 police and security officers were killed by members of “terrorist gangs.”

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