25th September 2012
UNITED NATIONS — US President Barack Obama on Tuesday demanded “sanctions and consequences” for atrocities in Syria and said President Bashar al-Assad’s rule must come to an end.
“The future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people,” Obama told the UN General Assembly in a keynote address.
“If there is a cause that cries out for protest in the world today, it is a regime that tortures children and shoots rockets at apartment buildings.”
He told leaders at the UN headquarters: “As we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop, and a new dawn can begin.”
Obama also warned that the international community must act to prevent the 18 month old uprising against Assad turning into “a cycle of sectarian violence.”
He said the United States wants a Syria “that is united and inclusive; where children don’t need to fear their own government, and all Syrians have a say in how they are governed — Sunnis and Alawites; Kurds and Christians.”
“That is the outcome that we will work for — with sanctions and consequences for those who persecute; and assistance and support for those who work for this common good,” Obama said.
“We believe that the Syrians who embrace this vision will have the strength and legitimacy to lead.”
Syria is one of the key topics at the UN assembly with growing western calls for action against Assad. Russia and China have vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions which could have led to sanctions.