Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE president held a frank exchange of views today with Dr Radwan Ziadeh, Syrian National Council spokesman on the situation in Syria. Guy Verhofstadt reassured Dr Ziadeh that he would continue to keep the pressure on the EU's High Representative, Mrs Ashton and EU foreign ministers to implement concrete measures to help the ordinary Syrians persecuted by the Assad regime.
Verhofstadt said "The EU must respond by putting greater pressure on Syria- we asked for an oil embargo back in August but it has taken 4 months to come into force. This "heel-dragging" approach to foreign policy leaves the EU overtaken by events. The EU must:
• Increase pressure on Assad to give up and leave • Be prepared to act alone with the Arab league should a common resolution of the UN Security Council become impossible to agree on • Examine the possibility of a no-fly zone on the border with Turkey to safeguard civilians in that region • Strengthen sanctions and enlarge the sanctions list to include at least 200 more families and businesses that still support the Assad regime ."
Marietje Schaake (D66,Netherlands) who facilitated the meeting between Ziadeh and Verhostadt elaborated,
" The EU should immediately ban all exports of monitoring technologies toSyriaand help activists to circumvent internet restrictions and monitoring software. We should also provide the Syrians with short wave radiofrequencies, which could be broadcasted fromCyprus. Now is the time for the EU to show it can be a smart power. It is appalling that the Syrian regime is using Western technologies as effective weapons against it's citizens."