Gulf states: Russian proposal on Syria will not stop bloodshed

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A Russian proposal for Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control to avoid a Western strike would not stop bloodshed, the Gulf Arab states said on Tuesday.

“We've heard of the initiative ... It's all about chemical weapons but doesn't stop the spilling of the blood of the Syrian people,” Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa told a news conference in Jeddah.

Bahrain holds the presidency of the Sunni Muslim-led Gulf Cooperation Council, a main backer of rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Its foreign minister said the GCC states were ready to deal with any threat against them based on their support for the rebels, according to Reuters.


The Russian proposal, accepted by Damascus, aims to prevent the United States launching an attack on Syria to punish it for a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of civilians.

In an address at the start of the meeting, Khalifa called for “appropriate deterrent measures against those who committed this crime” and said the chemical attack required “the United Nations and the international community, represented by the Security Council, to shoulder its responsibility.”

The Gulf Arab states have been among the strongest proponents of intervention against Assad, who is backed by Shi'ite Iran, their main rival for influence in the region.

The United States has accused Assad of responsibility for last month's attack on Damascus suburbs. He denies any links.

(With Reuters)

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