MUNICH (AP) — Tunisia’s prime minister said Sunday that cutting ties with the Syrian regime is the “least that we can do” in the face of escalating violence, and asserted that Russia and China misused their U.N. Security Council veto.
Hamadi Jebali spoke at an annual gathering of security officials in Germany, where Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman also said Russia and China bear moral responsibility for killings in Syria and urged governments to expel Syrian ambassadors.
Moscow and Beijing on Saturday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at ending Syria’s bloodshed.
Their vote came amid international outrage over a devastating bombardment of the city of Homs by President Bashar Assad’s forces, and shortly after Tunisia — the country whose uprising launched the past year’s upheaval in the Arab world — decided to expel Syria’s ambassador.
The Syrian people “are expecting deeds, they are expecting concrete measures,” Jebali said at the Munich Security Conference. “We have to expel the Syrian ambassadors from Arab countries and other countries.”
“The very least that we can do is to cut our relations to the Syrian regime,” Jebali said.
He criticized the “excessive use of the veto” in the U.N. Security Council. “This is a right that was misused, and undoubtedly the international community has to reconsider this mechanism of decision taking.”
Karman, one of the winners of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, had sharper words for Russia and China.
“Those two countries bear the moral and human responsibility for these massacres,” she said.
“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 to delegates.
“That is the minimum you can do to punish this regime, and I also urge you to take the necessary measures to protect the Syrian people.”