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GENEVA: The Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Mr Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui stormed out of the UN Human Rights Council after demanding angrily that countries stop "inciting sectarianism and providing arms" to opposition forces in his country.

Syria storms out of UN Human Rights Council meeting

GENEVA: The Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Mr Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui stormed out of the UN Human Rights Council after demanding angrily that countries stop "inciting sectarianism and providing arms" to opposition forces in his country.

Mr Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui said sanctions were preventing Damascus from buying medicines and fuel and then abruptly left the Geneva forum’s emergency debate called at the request of Gulf countries and Turkey, and backed by the West.

"We reaffirm to all those alleged friends of the Syrian people that the simple step to immediately help the Syrian people is to stop inciting sectarianism, providing arms and weapons and funding and putting the Syrian people one against the other," he said.

"Unjust and unilateral sanctions imposed by some countries on the Syrian people are preventing access to medicines, to fuel in all forms as well as electricity, and are also impeding bank transfers to buy these materials."

The European Union imposed sanctions on seven Syrian cabinet ministers on Tuesday for their role in a bloody crackdown on dissent, a move aimed at forcing the President, Mr Bashar al-Assad to step down.

"As we speak, the ruthless campaign of repression against the civilian population of Syria is going on. Women, men and children are being killed, massively, indiscriminately, by their own state security forces," the Portugal’s foreign minister, Mr Paulo Sacadura Cabral Portas told the talks on behalf of the EU.

The main UN human rights body had been expected to condemn Syria on Tuesday for using heavy weapons on residential areas and persecuting opponents, its fourth rebuke to Mr Assad in an 11-month uprising.

But after hours of debate, it decided to put off action until Thursday on a draft resolution presented by Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey with backing from Western powers including the United States and European Union (EU).

Earlier, Mr Khabbaz Hamoui said some powers wished to use the session to politicise human rights with "slander and libel" against his country so as to "fuel flames of terrorism".

"The Syrian ambassador’s comments (in his speech to the Council) were borderline out of touch with reality," the US human rights ambassador, Ms Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told mediapersons.

They were as "delusional" as his government’s holding of a referendum at a time when it was wreaking violence on its own people, she said.

Human Rights Watch called for both Russia and China to join in condemning Syria’s abuses. "Russia and China must stop providing the Syrian government with diplomatic coverage and join the rest of the world in clearly condemning the violations," the New York-based group said in a statement.

The Israel’s diplomat, Mr Walid Abu-Haya told the talks: "Bashar al-Assad is systematically murdering civilians. His forces are shelling their towns and villages and are raping and torturing people with impunity. He has no moral authority to govern."

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