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SVG calls for peaceful solution to conflict in Syria

SVG calls for peaceful  solution to conflict in Syria

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Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has cautioned that premature military intervention into Syria could cause more harm than good.{{more}}

Gonsalves, speaking at a press conference Monday at Cabinet Room, said the Government is “alarmed” at recent allegations of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, but before a military strike on that country is considered, other steps should be considered.

Gonsalves said that independent confirmation of chemical weapons use and who is responsible, should be confirmed, and that this should be followed by legitimate action as stipulated by international law.

“If a single example of the use of chemical weapons in Syria can be confirmed, St Vincent and the Grenadines calls for a clear determination of the individuals involved in carrying out such heinous acts, and for these individuals to be tried as war criminals to face the full weight of international law,” said Gonsalves, in his capacity as acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“….Such a military strike, whatever its tactical nature, does not currently have an established factual or legal basis, and would itself represent a violation of international law and a subversion of the multilateral processes that govern the conduct of nations…. It has never been the case that states or groups of states can take it upon themselves to punish countries with military force for the violations of any treaty provision,” he added.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the only international body that can authorize a military intervention for treaty violations of that nature is the United Nations Security Council, and to date they (the Security Council) has not done so.

Gonsalves said that St Vincent and the Grenadines insists that patience be exercised, and the multilateral processes that are in place to govern the ongoing crisis, be respected.

He said that the United Nations inspectors should be allowed to complete their report on chemical weapons use in Syria, which is to be presented to the Security Council.

He also said that the evidence should be compelling against the Syrian government that they were the ones responsible for the chemical weapons use, and if it is confirmed, the authorization for military action should come from the Security Council.

The Prime Minister said that a military strike on Syria at this time, could result in economic and regional instability, which would have a global effect.

Monday’s statement follows other earlier declarations from the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines on the Syrian conflict, all calling for a peaceful solution.

“St Vincent and the Grenadines can’t help or stop what anybody is going to do; we are a very small country, but we have a voice and we have to make our voice heard and we also have to draw attention to what, in our view, are the consequences of any rush to war,” Gonsalves said.

See full text of the statement by the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines at https://www.facebook.com/notes/searchlight-newspaper/statement-by-the-government-of-svg-on-developments-in-the-syrian-arab-republic/542524739149362?id=152771864791320

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