Damascus:  Syria has rejected foreign intervention over its deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests as UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged a united response from the Security Council charging that President Bashar al-Assad lacked "credibility.

Ban was echoing the disappointment expressed by many foreign governments over a keynote speech delivered by Assad on Monday in which he insisted there could be no reform amid the "chaos" of three months of anti-government protests.

"No one outside can impose on us their point of view," Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told a Damascus press conference, when asked about the mounting diplomatic pressure on his government.

While not directly accusing neighboring Turkey of meddling, Muallem hinted that Ankara, which has called for democratic reforms in Syria and is hosting thousands of fugitives from the government's crackdown, should "reconsider its position."

"We say to those in Europe who are criticizing us that they should stop interfering in Syrian affairs and sowing trouble in order to apply plans contrary to Syrian national interests."

Muallem said that sanctions against Syria adopted by the 27-nation bloc were tantamount to economic warfare.

Muallem accused France of pursuing a "colonialist agenda under the guise of human rights" and said French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe had colonial "illusions."

France, which ruled Syria for two decades under a League of Nations mandate following World War I, is spearheading attempts to get the United Nations to speak out against Damascus's crackdown.

More than 1,300 civilians have been killed and some 10,000 people arrested, according to Syrian human rights groups, in the crackdown that has seen troops dispatched to crush revolt in cities across the country.

Western governments have been circulating a draft Security Council resolution condemning President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown but Russia has warned it would veto any such move.

(Agencies)