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Top U.N. official criticizes supply of weapons to Syria

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 01:18

As the EU allows an arms embargo on Syria to expire, the U.N. Human Rights Council appeals to major powers to refrain from supplying weapons to the country. Simon Hanna reports.

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An air strike hits Qusair as part of a reported onslaught by government forces on the rebel-held Syrian border town. This video was uploaded to a social media website and cannot be independently verified by Reuters. Amid an escalation in fighting the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva held an urgent debate on the Syrian conflict. The session also came after the European Union allowed an embargo on Syria to expire and Russia said it would sell advanced missiles to Damascus. Navi Pillay, the U.N.'s human rights chief made this appeal to delegates. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS NAVI PILLAY: "The solution must be political, it will not be military. Outside forces including some states are reported to be actively fueling the conflict by providing weapons and ammunition to one side or the other. This emboldens the belligerents." While the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights was calling for restraint, Russia criticised the decision to let the arms embargo on Syria expire June 1. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the move was dubious and creates very serious obstacles for convening an international conference on Syria next month. Unverified activist video shows further bombardment of another Syrian border town. The conflict -- which has inceasingly drawn in neighbouring states such as Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey -- threatens to further involve Israel Europe, the U.S. and Russia as states try to break the diplomatic and military stalement that has mired Syria.

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Top U.N. official criticizes supply of weapons to Syria

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 01:18