Syria hits at 'UN terror backers'
Syria has accused some UN Security Council members of supporting "terrorism" in a speech clearly aimed at the United States and its allies that support the Syrian opposition.
Addressing the UN General Assembly's annual gathering of world leaders, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem al-Moallem said that efforts by Syria and the world to end the 18-month war will fail unless Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya and others stop arming and financing the opposition and instead "encourage dialogue and renounce violence".
Mr Al-Moallem argued that the regime of president Basha Assad is confronting a myriad of conspiracies by internal and external forces determined to end its 40-year rule and accused forces as diverse as the media and international organisations of attempting to destabilise the country.
"This terrorism, which is externally supported, is accompanied by unprecedented media provocation based on igniting religious extremism sponsored by well-known states in the region," he said, adding those states "facilitate the flow of arms, money and fighters through the borders of some neighbouring countries."
These forces were "fabricating a refugee crisis," he said, and "inciting armed groups to intimidate Syrian civilians in border areas and forcing them to flee" to neighbouring countries like Turkey, which says it is hosting nearly 100,000 Syrian refugees.
He called for a political solution and Syrian-led dialogue to agree on a roadmap to "a more pluralistic and democratic Syria." He invited the opposition to "work together to stop the shedding of Syrian blood."
Radwan Ziadeh, a US-based spokesman for the chief opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said it was impossible to believe calls for political dialogue were genuine.
"He is calling for dialogue while his air force is attacking civilians in each city," Mr Ziadeh said. "He is a liar representing the propaganda of the Assad regime."