The violence in Syria has put President Bashar al-Assad’s leadership under the microscope at an urgent session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The UN High Commissioner said more than 2,200 people have been killed in the Syrian crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
In a TV interview, Assad had remained defiant saying “We say to non-friendly countries: ‘If you push your agenda, we will go further’. And we want to tell them ‘Your talk has no value’. And that’s why we chose not to answer.”
He also announced multi-party parliamentary elections for next February.
“We can deal with this and we have begun to make progress recently. We must continue with maintaining security. I am not worried about these events,” he went on.
Assad dismissed international calls for him to stand down despite an uprising that has refused to be crushed for five months.
An initial United Nations investigation into the actions of Syrian security forces proposed that killings, disappearances and torture might amount to crimes against humanity.
The US, the EU and Arab nations want an international inquiry into the alleged atrocities.