Foreign Secretary William Hague told the UN Security Council that it had failed in its responsibilities to the Syrian people, in a session on the Arab Spring chaired by the UK in New York yesterday. Hague said the Security Council had, ‘failed to address the brutal oppression of peaceful protesters by the Syrian regime.’ He called again for a resolution to demand a halt to violence and back an Arab League-led plan for transition. Previous attempts to pass a resolution on Syria, led by the US, Britain and France, have been blocked by Russia and China. According to the UN, 8000 people have now been killed in the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown on protestors.
Hague also used his speech to address the wider Arab Spring, by laying out principles for dealing with Islamist parties. Hague stressed the importance of working, ‘with new elected groups that draw their inspiration from Islam,’ whilst stressing the need to hold them, ‘to the same high standards of non-violence, respect for human rights and willingness to respect the outcome of future elections that are expected of others.’
The Middle East will also be on the agenda for Prime Minister David Cameron’s meetings with US President Barack Obama in Washington this week. In a joint article in the Washington Post this morning, the two leaders state that there was still time for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, but called on Tehran to, ‘meet your international obligations or face the consequences.’