Last updated: 16 August, 2012

Syria lashes out at Muslim states after suspension

Syrian Foreign Minster Walid Muallem accused fellow Muslim nations Thursday of being behind the bloodshed in his country after the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation suspended Damascus.

He also accused Arab states of failing to give even one dollar to help the humanitarian situation in Syria after 17 months of conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and sent many thousands more fleeing.

“The Arab League and the OIC are not content to suspend Syria but have hatched a plot against us and must take responsibility for the bloodletting,” Muallem said in extracts of an interview to state television.

He also protested to visiting UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos that Syria had not received any aid money from Arab states.

“I told Mrs Amos that they have money to support men with arms and to destroy houses and infrastructure and displace people but they haven’t paid one dollar to help those people or to rebuild what the insurgents have destroyed,” he said.

The OIC announced after an emergency summit in Mecca Thursday that it had suspended Syria’s membership of the 57-nation body, expressing “deep concern at the massacres and inhuman acts suffered by the Syrian people.”

The Arab League had suspended Syria in November.

Muallem accused the United States of being the mastermind of a “conspiracy” against Syria, using Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as its “tools”.

State-run Syrian newspaper Tishrin accused the OIC of being a “cunning devil,” saying the move was unsurprising, given its “sectarian doctrine, which is at odds with the essence of true Islam.”

The Syrian ruling elite belongs to the minority Shiite Alawite sect, and most members of the OIC, particularly heavyweights such as Saudi Arabia, are predominantly Sunni Muslim.

Tishrin accused the OIC of furthering the “Western colonialist project… in the region which aims to bring down the Syrian state and sow sectarian strife”.

OIC members are “supporting terrorist groups” within Syria, it said.