Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle: a fresh start is needed in Syrian politics

18.08.2011 - Press release

In view of the massive repression continuing in Syria, Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle made the following statement today (18 August):

“In spite of all the appeals made to it, the regime in Damascus continues to unrelentingly stifle the legitimate demands of the people of Syria with violence, torture, and mass arrests. This goes against all obligations of morality and international law.
The German Government and our partners believe that by choosing this path of repression, President Assad can no longer legitimately lead Syria into the future. By stepping down he would clear the path for the fresh start needed in Syrian politics. I welcome the clear words of the American president and my colleague Hillary Clinton.
In an international context we are working to see that the violence on the part of the Syrian regime finally ends. The people of Syria have a right to live in peace, to freedom of opinion, and to respect for their basic human and civil rights.”

The German Government is working hard with its partners to expand the EU sanctions against Syria. In Germany’s view, this should also include the energy sector. At the urging of Germany and its partners, the UN Security Council will deal with the situation in Syria again today. Following Germany’s initiative, a special session of the UN Human Rights Council is planned on Syria for this coming Monday (22 August) in Geneva.

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