Commenting on the speech by Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus today (Saturday, 16 April), Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said:
“I have taken note of the Syrian President’s announcement that the emergency laws will be lifted within a week and that reform will be instigated. However, what counts is action, not mere announcements. We will judge the Syrian leadership by actions alone.
The lifting of the state of emergency can be but one step. There must also be comprehensive political reform, as well as respect for human and civil rights in keeping with Syria’s international obligations.
The continuing brutal oppression of demonstrators and opposition supporters is unacceptable. That is the clear and unanimous view of the international community.”
At the Foreign Affairs Council meeting last Tuesday (12 April), the EU Foreign Ministers adopted conclusions on Syria.