Tunisia’s PM incites Arabs: Cut diplomatic ties with Syria

Veto right was misused

MUNICH (Germany) - Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali called Sunday on all countries to cut off diplomatic relations with Syria over the violence there.
"We have to expel Syrian ambassadors from Arab and other countries," Jebali said during a panel discussion on the Middle East at a security conference in the southern German city of Munich.
"The Syrian people do not expect from us today long statements ... they are expecting deeds, they are expecting concrete measures ... the very least we can do is to cut all relations to the Syria regime," added Jebali.
He said Russia and China's veto on Saturday against a UN resolution aimed at stopping the violence showed that the Security Council system was broken.
The veto was "a right that was misused and undoubtedly the international community has to reconsider this mechanism of decision taking," said Jebali.
Tunisia, whose revolution a year ago sparked the chain of other popular uprisings across the Arab world including Syria, announced Saturday it would expel the Syrian ambassador and stop recognising the Damascus regime.
The call came after one of the bloodiest weekends since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime erupted almost 11 months ago, with more than 200 civilians killed during a massive assault by regime forces in the central flashpoint of Homs.
Speaking at the same event, Yemeni Nobel peace laureate Tawakkul Karman also called on the international community to expel Syrian ambassadors from their countries and recall diplomats in the wake of the violence there.
"I urge you in the name of the peaceful rebels to expel Syrian ambassadors from your countries and I urge you to call back your ambassadors in Damascus," Karman said.
China and Russia, which vetoed a UN resolution aimed at ending the bloodshed in Syria, "bear the moral and human responsibility for these massacres," she said.
Referring to the veto, Qatari minister of state for foreign affairs, Khalid Mohamed al-Attiyah, described Saturday as a "sad day".
He said Russia and China's move was a "bad signal to Assad that gives a license to kill, full stop."
Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu decried the two countries' stance.
"Unfortunately yesterday, Cold War logic continued ... Russia and China did not vote on existing realities.
"Which type of message are we giving to the Syrian people and regime?" he asked.
"The ethical responsibility of the international community is to raise its voice, to send a strong message to the Assad regime," he said.
US independent Senator Joe Lieberman said that with their actions, China and Russia were "on the wrong side of history" and they could find themselves as isolated as Assad if they refused to budge.