Foreign Minister Westerwelle on developments in Syria
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle today made the following statement about the current situation in Syria before an audience of journalists:
“The situation in Syria remains dramatic. Reports on the actions of Syrian security forces and the suffering of people in Homs are shocking and disturbing. That is why we must move forward at all levels and with the greatest urgency in our international efforts to end the violence and bring about democratic change. I spoke on the phone about this yesterday with my Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and this morning with Nabil El Araby, the Secretary General of the Arab League.
We are convinced that we as the international community must stand together on this matter. We owe this to the people who are suffering so much right now. We also owe it to the reputation of the international community not to slacken our efforts on behalf of those currently suffering in Syria, but rather on the contrary to work even harder.
The task at hand is not only to establish a contact group for the friends of a democratic Syria, but also to take a new approach in the United Nations to resolving the crisis. Specifically, I believe the proposal of a joint UN-Arab League observer mission is a sensible one. It is also our view that the appointment of a UN special representative for the Syria conflict should be considered. Both measures would contribute to peace and reconciliation. And both would send a clear message from the international community to the Assad regime.
I would also like to inform you that I have authorized the expulsion of four employees of the Syrian Embassy. These expulsions follow the arrest of two people suspected of spying for Syria. The Syrian Ambassador was informed of the expulsions today. On Tuesday I had summoned the Syrian Ambassador to the Federal Foreign Office to once again state clearly to him that absolutely no form of action taken by the Syrian state against members of the Syrian opposition in Germany will be accepted.”