Assad regime must come to an end: Obama
United Nations: Demanding "sanctions and consequences" for those who persecute innocents in Syria, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for an end to President Bashar Al Assad rule.
"As we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop, and a new dawn can begin," Obama said in his address to the 67th session of the UN General Assembly.
He called on the international community to stand with those Syrians who believe in a different vision for their country, one where Syria is united and inclusive, children do not need to fear their own government and all Syrians, from Sunnis and Alawites to Kurds and Christians have a say in how they are governed.
"In Syria, the future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people. If there is a cause that cries out for protest in the world today, it is a regime that tortures children and shoots rockets at apartment buildings. And we must remain engaged to assure that what began with citizens demanding their rights does not end in a cycle of sectarian violence," he said.
Obama threatened the use sanctions and consequences for those who persecute innocents in Syria, while promising assistance and support to those who work for the common good of Syria.
Obama sounded a hopeful note for other nations in the Middle East where people became united to topple dictators and chose the path of democracy.
He said for the first time in decades, Tunisians, Egyptians, and Libyans voted for new leaders in elections that were credible, competitive, and air. He lauded Burma's efforts where political prisoners have been freed, efforts are being made to open a closed society and a "courageous dissident" Aung San Suu Kyi has been elected to Parliament.
"Around the globe, people are making their voices heard, insisting on their innate dignity, and the right to determine their future," he said.
However, Obama noted that there will always be people who reject human progress ? "dictators who cling to power, corrupt interests that depend upon the status quo; and extremists who fan the flames of hate and division."
"In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others," he added. Obama noted that in a true democracy, real freedom is hard work.
"Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissent. In hard economic times, countries may be tempted to rally the people around perceived enemies, at home and abroad, rather than focusing on the painstaking work of reform," he said.