Syrian Foreign Minister: ““The Libyan scenario will not be repeated”

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem,  October 9, 2011

From Nada Bakri, the New York Times:  [Syrian Foreign Minister] Walid al-Moallem, speaking at a televised press conference in Damascus, reiterated Syria’s contention that it had complied with with terms of a proposed Arab League peace plan by withdrawing its armed troops from urban areas, releasing political prisoners and offering pardons to militants.

But rights activists in Syria — as well as a majority of Arab League members — have said Syria has failed to comply with the peace plan, pointing to new violence in Syria since it agreed to the plan on Nov. 2.Activists said that more than 240 people were killed from the day the plan was announced until last week. . . .

The United Nations said this month that at least 3,500 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising started in March. The government disputed the death toll and blamed the unrest on armed groups who the government said have killed more than 1,100 soldiers and police officers. . . .

Mr. Moallem also played down any prospects of an international military intervention in Syria, like the NATO-led campaign against Libya that helped topple the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in August.

“The Libyan scenario will not be repeated,” Mr. Moallem said, adding that Western and Arab countries know that the cost to confront the Syrian military would be high. He also said that he was confident that Russia and China would continue to oppose any resolutions against Syria in the United Nations Security Council. Russia and China vetoed a decision in October against Syria in the United Nations. . . .

The European Union, meanwhile, sought to intensify pressure on Syria, imposing additional sanctions against some of the country’s citizens and restricting investment.

But foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said there were no plans to take military action against Mr. Assad’s government in Damascus similar to the campaign that led to the overthrow and death of Colonel Qaddafi.

“This is a different situation from Libya,” said William Hague, the British foreign secretary. “There is no United Nations Security Council resolution, and Syria is a much more complex situation.”  (photo: AP)

Image: ap%2011%2014%2011%20Walid%20al-Moallem.jpg