Council conclusions on Syria

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNIONN

 

Council conclusions on Syria

 

3101st FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting
Luxembourg, 20 June 2011

The Council adopted the following conclusions: 

"1. The EU condemns in the strongest terms the worsening violence in Syria. The EU deplores that the Syrian authorities have not responded to the calls to immediately stop the violence and engage in meaningful reforms. The EU considers that the ongoing violent repression in Syria constitutes a threat to internal and regional stability.

 

2. The EU regrets the loss of life, mostly of peaceful protestors, as stated in the Preliminary report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Syria. The Report contains allegations of human rights abuses, including torture. The EU expresses its condolences to the families of the victims and salutes the unwavering courage of the Syrian people. The EU calls on the Syrian authorities to immediately end violence. The EU calls on demonstrators to uphold the peaceful nature of protests. The EU also calls for an independent, effective and transparent investigation as requested by the UNSG to hold those responsible for the violence to account.

 

3. The EU notes with grave concern reports of army activities, notably in northern Syria and the city of Jisr al-Shughour, and of the thousands of people displaced due to the violence. It urges the Syrian authorities to allow immediate and unconditional access by humanitarian agencies to all affected areas. It also urges the Syrian authorities to cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, including by granting its mission access to Syria, as requested by the UN Human Rights Council on 29 April.  

4. Stressing that the current crisis can only be settled through a political process, the EU reiterates its calls on the Syrian authorities to launch a credible, genuine and inclusive national dialogue and meaningful political reforms without delay. The EU emphasizes that for such a process to take place, the Syrian authorities must stop the violence, put an immediate end to arbitrary arrests and intimidations, release all those arrested in connection with protests, as well as other political prisoners who remain in detention despite the recent amnesty announced by President Al-Assad. Such a process is also the only way to provide stability for Syria in the long term, by initiating a peaceful transition to democracy, based on national unity and respectful of the rights of all citizens.

 

5. The EU is concerned that the lifting of the state of emergency on 21 April is not implemented on the ground and deplores the fact that the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression continue to be constantly violated. President Al-Assad’s credibility and leadership depend on the implementation of the reforms he himself announced publicly without taking any step since then to fulfil his commitments. 

6. The EU emphasises that the Syrian authorities must ensure that access by the Syrian people to basic goods and services is not interrupted.

 

7. The EU also urges the Syrian authorities to allow immediate and unhindered access to international human rights monitors, and to independent and international media. The Syrian people should not be deprived of access to free media, including the Internet. 

8. The situation has affected neighbouring countries. The EU stands ready to assist in addressing the humanitarian situation. The EU acknowledges the efforts by Turkey and other regional partners on the different aspects of the crisis, in particular the humanitarian aspects, and will work with them to address the situation in Syria.

 

9. The EU continues its diplomatic efforts with partners from the international community to ensure that the UN Security Council assumes its responsibility in relation to the situation in Syria and its regional implications, condemns the ongoing violence and urges the Syrian authorities to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. 

10. Until there is an end to unacceptable violence against the civilian population, and decisive progress towards fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, the EU will maintain its current policy.

 

11. In this respect, the EU is actively preparing to expand its restrictive measures by additional designations with a view to achieving a fundamental change of policy by the Syrian leadership without delay. The Council recalls that restrictive measures target individuals and entities responsible for, or associated with, the violent repression against the civilian population."

 

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