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Syria: more UN assembly speeches, one less UNESCO site

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From Albania, whose diplomats said Syrians “are suffering a primitive bloodshed by a regime that has irreversibly lost its legitimacy to lead,” to Zambia, whose diplomats said, “Humanity has again been embarrassed by this unnecessary carnage,” there were few speeches that didn’t include some criticism of the conflict, which has now entered its 19th month and killed between 20,000 and 30,000 people, according to the UN and activists.

But Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem countered the many calls to end Syria’s civil war in a speech in front of the General Assembly yesterday, where he accused “some well-known countries” of pursuing “new colonial policies based on political hypocrisy,” and supporting terrorism in Syria, according to Syria's state-run Day Press News. The Syrian government often refers to rebel fighters in the country as terrorists. Mr. Moallem continued:

Perhaps, worse of all, is to see permanent members of the Security Council, who launched wars under the pretext of combating terrorism, now support terrorism in my country....

For more than one year now, my country has been facing organized terrorism, that affected our citizens, our human and scientific resources, national establishments, and also much of Syria's historic and archeological landmarks through terrorist bombings, assassinations and massacres, looting and sabotage activities that horrified citizens in many parts of Syria. 

Moallem said calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step down were "blatant interference in the domestic affairs of Syria, and the unity of its people and its sovereignty," though he did call for dialogue with the rebels, which was derided by George Sabra, an opposition spokesman for the opposition umbrella organization, the Syrian National Council.

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