Press release: Verhofstadt calls on EU to back Syrian National Council

Marietje

Intervening today in a debate on Syria in Strasbourg, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader, called for the EU High Representative to have a clear strategy towards Syria when she attends the planned 'Contact Group for the Friends of Syria' in Tunis next week and declare full and practical support for the Syrian National Council.

ALDE Press release, 15.02.2012

"Syria is being engulfed by civil war as we speak and families are being destroyed."

"When Baroness Ashton goes to Tunis she should take with her not just our sympathies but a decisive plan addressing the crucial questions on establishing and protecting safe havens and humanitarian corridors, supplying the Syrian opposition with necessary material and technical support - including arms to defend themselves, and extending the sanctions regime to all those who are supporting the regime."

"The longer we discuss, the more people will be killed. We now have a choice: to support the opposition or do nothing and permit Bashar-al-Assad literally to get away with murder."

Marietje Schaake (D66,Netherlands), ALDE spokesperson on Syria also added:

"We cannot and will not stand by and watch the Syrian people being slaughtered. Let it not be EU Member States who fail to enforce the arms embargo or EU companies that provide the weapons used in the slaughter of innocents. Thousands are dying on the streets of Syria's cities and hundreds of thousands rounded up and wrongfully imprisoned and tortured. We must stand by those brave individuals risking their lives to defend their freedom and trying to tell the world what is really happening in their country."

"It is time for unconventional measures and firm determination. Assad will fall sooner or later. Europe should seek to limit the bloodshed and ensure reconciliation and a stable transition".

The ALDE group invited a young Syrian activist and a senior member of the opposition Syrian National Council to Strasbourg this week to provide testimony to the atrocities occurring in Homs and elsewhere and the wishes of the Syrian people for a free, democratic and pluralist country.