Friday, 13 January 2012

World won't let Iran close Strait of Hormuz: Cameron

RIYADH: British Prime Minister David Cameron said the world would "come together" to prevent Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz oil shipment route and that Russia should take a tougher stance against Syria during his visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Iran last month threatened to blockade the strategically vital strait if it was subjected to any new international sanctions over its nuclear programme, which it says is for civilian use, but which Western countries believe is aimed at building an atomic bomb.

"In terms of the Straits of Hormuz, it is in the interests of the whole world that those straits are open and I'm sure if there was any threat to close them the world would come together and make sure they stayed open," said Cameron in a television interview also attended by Reuters.

Cameron is in the Saudi capital Riyadh for a one-day visit to the world's top oil exporter, where he met King Abdullah and other top members of the royal family.

Cameron said he and King Abdullah had discussed the situation with Iran during their meeting, which lasted two hours, and that they had also discussed the situations in Somalia, Yemen and Syria.

Asked about whether the United Nations would impose a tougher resolution on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over its violent repression of civilians, he said the Security Council needed to take a stronger line.

"We've been unable to make progress frankly because there have been some countries on the Security Council that have vetoed or threatened to veto proper resolutions on Syria," he said, singling out Russia.

Cameron said the Arab League, which has imposed sanctions on Syria and sent monitors to the country to observe the situation there, had taken a "leading role" in bringing the issue to the world's attention.

"We stand ready as a permanent member of the Security Council to take fresh resolutions to that council based on what the Arab League is doing, what the Arab League is saying, and daring others if they want to veto this resolution to try and explain why they are willing to stand by and watch such appalling bloodshed by someone who has turned into such an appalling dictator," he added. (Reuters)
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