Chief UN observer Mood criticises empty talk on Syria
‘A lot of chat in luxury but too little action to stop violence on ground’
The chief UN observer in Syria criticised the international community yesterday for talking too much in luxurious settings, and doing too little on the ground to stop the horrific violence.
“There is this feeling that it’s too much talk in nice hotels, in nice meetings and too little action to move forward and stop the violence,” Major General Robert Mood told reporters in Damascus.
The 300-strong UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) was suspended in mid-June because of intense violence across the country.
“The urgency of stopping the violence is maybe the most important issue for everyone involved” in the conflict, Major General Mood told a conference at a hotel in Syria’s capital.
He returned to Damascus from Geneva, following a meeting on Saturday where world powers agreed on a plan for a transition in Syria, which did not make an explicit call for President Bashar al-Assad to quit power. However, the West swiftly made clear it saw no role for Mr Assad in a unity government.
Meanwhile, a Syrian general and a number of soldiers defected and crossed into Turkey yesterday, the 15th such high-ranking officer to flee the conflict-wracked nation, a Turkish diplomat said.
A total of 66 people fled into Turkey from Syria yesterday, as well as soldiers and their families, the diplomat said on condition of anonymity. Defectors have formed the Free Syrian Army in opposition to the regime of Mr Assad.
Around 35,000 displaced Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey since the start of a bloody uprising in March 2011.