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Syrian envoy criticized over rant, walkout at UN meeting

Published: February 29, 2012 | 10:21 am
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GENEVA, Switzerland — The U.S. criticized Syria’s envoy for storming out of a United Nations meeting about the crisis in his country Tuesday, saying the walkout and a fiery speech that preceded it demonstrated the “delusional” nature of President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Fayssal al-Hamwi, Syria’s ambassador to the UN, accused members of the UN Human Rights Council of promoting terrorism and prolonging the crisis by organizing a meeting about the situation. The UN says more than 7,500 people have died in Syria since March.

As diplomats and government officials from 70 countries lined up to express concern, al-Hamwi announced that his delegation would withdraw from “this sterile discussion.”

Before storming out of the room, al-Hamwi denounced a planned resolution on Syria as “malicious and prejudiced.” Members of the Geneva-based council are expected to pass a resolution this week condemning “widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities.”

A draft text supported by many Arab and Western nations says the Syrian regime’s use of heavy artillery and tanks to attack civilian areas contributed to the deaths of thousands.

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