Speaking in Paris today (6 February), Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement on the Franco German proposal to establish a contact group comprising the friends of a democratic Syria:
“We are not going to ease up in our commitment to putting an end to the violence in Syria, especially not now. To give up would be to leave the Syrian people alone, to abandon them, in their efforts for freedom and self determination.
The alliance which stands against the Assad regime’s violence and repression is a broad one. Thirteen members of the United Nations Security Council, representing every continent, agreed to condemn the Assad regime for its actions in the clearest possible terms. The Arab League and Turkey are also – like us – determined to oppose the violence being deployed by the Assad regime against its own people.
Building on that alliance, we now want to set up a contact group of the friends of a democratic Syria. We intend to use that forum to discuss how to proceed next in order to bring the bloodshed in Syria to an end.
Alain Juppé and I are also in agreement that the EU should impose further sanctions on Syria at the very next Council. The necessary preparations are already under way.”