“Assad should make way for a democratic fresh start”
In the new year, too, the violence in the country continues unabated. In a televized speech to supporters on 6 January, President Bashar al Assad ruled out any dialogue with opposition forces.
Scenes of devastation in Damascus
© picture alliance / abaca
Foreign Minister Westerwelle expressed great disappointment over Assad’s stand. “He’s in complete denial about the realities on the ground,” he commented in an interview published on 7 January. Assad wanted to impress the world with highly aggressive, martial posturing. That would unfortunately do nothing to restore the country to stability. The regime was crumbling, he added, but not yet on the point of collapse. However, the process of erosion was accelerating, Westerwelle emphasized on 4 January.
Need for a fresh start based on democracy and pluralism
Meeting of the Syrian opposition in Doha
© picture alliance / dpa
The regime’s increasing erosion “encourages us and above all people on the ground to hope the Assad era will soon be over and the way clear for a fresh start led by the National Coalition”, Westerwelle explained. The National Coalition uniting various Syrian opposition groups was established on 11 November in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Westerwelle called for Assad to “make way for a democratic fresh start. All forces in Syria should be invited to play their part here.” The country needed a fresh start. That was why Germany was supporting the National Coalition, the Minister pointed out.
Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has likewise called for Assad to resign and hand over power to a new government.
Last updated 07.01.2013