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Syrian envoy denounces U.N. talks, walks out [Video]

February 28, 2012 |  1:20 pm

Syria's ambassador walked out of an emergency meeting on his embattled country Tuesday after the United Nations human rights chief said she was "appalled" by the escalating violence and called for an end to the fighting.

"Those committing atrocities in Syria have to understand that the international community will not stand by and watch this carnage, and their decisions and the actions they take today ultimately will not go unpunished," human rights chief Navi Pillay told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Syrian Ambassador Fayssal Hamwi responded by saying the real aim of the talks was to "fuel the flames of terrorism" and prolong the crisis in Syria. He said the idea of humanitarian protection was being manipulated for political reasons.

"We do not recognize the legitimacy of the session nor the legitimacy of any malicious and prejudiced resolutions it may adopt," Hamwi said before leaving the Geneva meeting.

Nearly one year into the uprising against the government of President Bashar Assad, the United Nations now estimates that more than 7,500 people have been killed in Syria, including women and children. Opposition activists said more than 100 people were killed Tuesday, many in the embattled city of Homs.

The United Nations has already condemned human rights violations in Syria and lined up behind a plan that calls for Assad to cede power. Syria has strenuously objected, saying it is defending itself from armed terrorists. Opposition groups say the regime has brutally attacked ordinary people.

Russia and China have twice blocked action on Syria in the U.N. Security Council, which would have legal force, unlike the U.N. human rights group meeting in Geneva. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday that diplomats are working on another Security Council resolution, this time also calling for an immediate halt to hostilities and humanitarian access, the Associated Press reported.

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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles

Video: Navi Pillay and Fayssal Hamwi address the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday. Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

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