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Syria complains to U.N. over John McCain’s visit

Syria has complained to the U.N. after Sen. McCain, Bernard Kouchner and other diplomats entered Syria without visas

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Syria has complained to the United Nations after U.S. Republican Senator John McCain, former French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner and other prominent figures reportedly entered the country without visas, with that violating its sovereignty.

Syria's U.N. ambassador Bashar Jaafari called on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the 15-member Security Council to take “the necessary measures against their nationals who enter Syrian territory illegally.”

McCain in Syria reuters
McCain in Syria reuters

McCain paid a surprise visit to Syria in May 2013, meeting with rebels after crossing the border from Turkey.

Jaafari said the Republican Senator met with leaders of the al-Nusra Front, which the Security Council has branded a terrorist organization.

Kouchner traveled to Kurdish areas in northern Syria in November last year.

Another U.S. diplomat, David Galbraith, visited Syria in December, and a former Kuwaiti lawmaker, Walid al-Tabtaba'i, was cited for his 2013 trip in Jaafari’s letter, according to AFP.

Galbraith was accompanied by three U.S. political and military officials during his visit last month while Walid al-Tabtaba'i brought money and weapons to the rebels, and took part in combat in September 2013, the envoy said.

“Such actions are a blatant violation of Syria's sovereignty and the resolutions of the Security Council concerning Syria,” wrote Jaafari in the letter dated December 24.

McCain dismissed the Syrian complaint while berating the international community for not acting to oust the Assad regime.

“It is a sad but unsurprising truth that the Assad regime is less concerned with its massacre of more than 200,000 men, women and children than it is my visit with those brave Syrians fighting for their freedom and dignity,” McCain said in a statement.

“The fact that the international community has done virtually nothing to bring down this terrible regime despite its atrocities is a stain on our collective moral conscience.”

[With AFP]