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Gulf states urge 'deterrent' UN action against Syria

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Arab states of the Gulf on Tuesday renewed calls for the United Nations to take "deterrent measures" against Syria's government over an alleged poison gas attack that killed hundreds of people.

"The UN Security Council must assume its responsibilities," Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Khalifa said at the start of a ministerial meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Jeddah.

He urged "necessary deterrent measures against the perpetrators of this ugly crime, for which the Syrian regime is responsible."

Bahrain is the current president of the GCC, which also groups Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Sheikh Khaled's statement made no mention of Russia's latest proposal to place Syria's chemical weapons under international supervision for eventual destruction.

The surprise proposal was made on Monday and is aimed at averting punitive US strikes against the Syrian regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons last month near Damascus.

The GCC has openly voiced support for the armed revolt against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, with Saudi Arabia -- the bloc's heavyweight -- pushing for a US-led strike on his forces.

On Monday, the kingdom reiterated its call for the international community to "assume its humanitarian responsibility to rescue the Syrian people and end its suffering from criminal acts and genocide."

Syria's conflict has killed more than 110,000 people since it broke out in March 2011.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130910/gulf-states-urge-deterrent-un-action-against-syria