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EU ready to review policies towards Syria as foreign ministers deplore deaths
EU foreign ministers have deplored the many deaths resulting from the ongoing violence in Syria, warning the authorities that the EU “stands ready to review its policies towards Syria as appropriate”.
According to Conclusions adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg yesterday, “The Council is extremely concerned at the situation in Syria. It deplores the many deaths resulting from ongoing violence, strongly condemns the use of force by the security forces against peaceful demonstrators and urges the authorities to exercise restraint.” Ministers called for the immediate release of all
those detained in the protests and for those responsible for the deaths to be brought to account.
Calling on the Syrian authorities “to respond urgently to the legitimate demands of the Syrian people including through the lifting of the state of emergency”, ministers warned: “The Council will monitor events closely and stands ready to review its policies towards Syria as appropriate,including by supporting, once launched, a genuine process of reform.”
The Council underlined the importance of a clear and credible programme of political reform, and said pledges to that end “must be more ambitious and backed by a concrete timetable for their implementation.”
The Syrian authorities “must abide by their international commitments with regards to ensuring respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms including freedom of assembly, expression and media”, the Conclusions added.
Last week, the European Parliament passed a resolution urging the EU to suspend Association Agreement talks with Syria until the authorities carried out “tangible democratic reforms”. (ENPI Info Centre)
ENPI Info Centre – European Parliament urges EU to suspend Association Agreement talks with Syria (07-04-11)
EU External Action – Syria
ENPI Info Centre webpage – Syria