- Survivors pulled from Oklahoma tornado debris as toll falls |
- Analysis: Some Republicans see new scandal in Sebelius fundraising
- Convicted U.S. killer Arias would join tiny death row group
- Drop in U.S. underground water levels has accelerated -USGS
- Israel fires back at Syria after gunshots at its troops
A huge tornado tears through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, killing dozens. Slideshow
U.N. says Syria refusing observers by nationality: Rice
UNITED NATIONS |
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Syria has refused at least one U.N. military observer because of his nationality and has made clear it will not allow in U.N. staff from any country in the "Friends of Syria" group, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said on Tuesday.
Speaking after U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous briefed the Security council, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Ladsous told the 15-nation panel that Damascus was putting restrictions on the deployment of truce monitors.
"Mr. Ladsous reported that the Syrian government has refused at least one observer based on his nationality, and that Syrian authorities have stated they will not accept UNSMIS staff members from any nations that are members of the 'Friends of Democratic Syria'," Rice told reporters.
"He underscored that from the U.N.'s point of view, this is entirely unacceptable," she said.
The 14-nation "Friends" group includes the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, all of which have said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost his legitimacy because of his 13-month assault on pro-democracy protesters that has brought Syria to the brink of civil war.
Rice also confirmed that Ladsous had told the council it would be another month before 100 of the maximum of 300 unarmed military observers who will comprise the U.N. monitoring mission reach Syria to help supervise the country's fragile 12-day-old ceasefire.
She said council members considered the speed of the deployment too slow.
UNSMIS - the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria - is to be deployed for an initial period of three months.
(Reporting By Louis Charbonneau; Editing by David Brunnstrom)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this