'UN must have final say on Syria'

President Jacob Zuma maintains that no country has a right to decide Syria’s fate.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Sapa

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma has insisted the United Nations Security Council's authority must be respected particularly in light of recent developments surrounding Syria.

Zuma was speaking at an editors' briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday morning where he addressed numerous issues ahead of the G20 summit in Russia.

Zuma says the United Nations Security Council must have the final say in whether military intervention is needed in Syria.

He said it was worrisome that some countries intend acting unilaterally by seemingly protecting their own interests instead of global interests.

He added there were international laws which govern chemical weapons and these should be respected.

In August, at least 1,429 people were killed in an alleged chemical weapons attack.

The rebels have accused the government of being responsible for the attack which they vehemently denied.

This has led to US President Barack Obama threatening to launch a military strike against Syria, but South Africa and Russia have opposed this.

Obama is convinced that al-Assad is behind the attack and he should be punished for his actions.

Meanwhile, Zuma, who will soon depart for Russia, says he will attend a BRICS meeting on the fringe of the G20 summit.

Zuma says they will reflect on the Durban Declaration and look at initiatives to boost economic growth.


The Tripartite Alliance has called on the US congress to vote against a plan by Obama to launch a military strike against Syria.

The alliance says dialogue is the best solution to the ongoing crisis.

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) spokesperson Patrick Craven says evidence that the Syrian government was responsible for the attacks needs to be produced.

"The evidence that the government was responsible for its own chemical weapons attack on its own citizens hasn't been produced."