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Meeting of the Weimar Triangle

Published on March 2, 2012
Joint declaration by Guido Westerwelle, German Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, Polish Foreign Minister, and Alain Juppé, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Berlin, February 29, 2012

The Foreign Ministers of the Weimar Triangle, Guido Westerwelle, Radoslaw Sikorski and Alain Juppé, declared today:

We are full of admiration for the Syrian men and women who for almost a year courageously continue to take to the streets of many Syrian cities and villages to peacefully demonstrate for a better future for their country. We share their vision of a democratic state where people enjoy the same inalienable rights regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities, beliefs or gender.

We are appalled by the way the Syrian regime has reacted to their legitimate demands. Violence and repression, arbitrary detention and killings, torture and intimidation inside and outside Syria are intolerable and must stop immediately. Thousands of innocent civilians including more than 600 children have been killed; many more have disappeared. We extend our sincere condolences to all victims and their families. We will spare no efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the widespread violations of human rights, which may amount to crimes against humanity.

In view of the further massive escalation of violence in the recent weeks, especially in the areas of Homs and Idlib and the increasing humanitarian needs, we deeply regret the blockade of the UN Security Council, especially in the light of a growing international consensus, as recently confirmed by the adoption of a resolution on Syria by the UN General Assembly by a overwhelming majority of countries. We call upon all members of the Security Council to live up to their responsibility and to support all efforts of the Security Council to put an end to violence and to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and to urge a throrough implementation of the Arab league initiative, with the view to fostering a peaceful political transition, in response to the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. The call for freedom should always be stronger than tanks and artillery.

We strongly urge the Syrian authorities to allow immediate and unhindered access to humanitarian aid for all populations in need of assistance.

We also condemn all killings of unarmed civilians, including three journalists in the city of Homs. The press must be allowed unimpeded access to carry out its vital role of providing independent information on the events in Syria without fear of violence or repression. We urge the Syrian authorities to create the conditions for a safe and rapid evacuation of the foreign journalists in Homs in coordination with the ICRC and the Syrian Red Crescent. We call for an interruption of the acts of violence in Homs in order to allow such an operation to take place.

We fully endorse the chairman’s statement of the first meeting of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People held in Tunis on 24 February, which expressed its support to the Arab League initiative and affirmed its goal of working towards a political transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people for dignity, freedom, peace, reform, democracy, prosperity and stability, and we welcome the appointment of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis.

It is our firm conviction that only the Syrian people themselves can decide on the future of their country. We have recognised the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of Syrians seeking peaceful democratic change. We call upon the Syrian National Council to work in a spirit of unity with all opposition groups, both inside and outside Syria, which share the vision of an inclusive, prosperous and free Syria that protects its citizens, guarantees the rights of minorities and generates stability in the region. We encourage all opposition movements to gather around the Syrian National Council to give the peaceful activists a strong political voice.

We will continue our policy of imposing additional measures targeting the regime as long as repression continues. We welcome the commitment of the participants of the Friends of Syria Group to take steps to apply and enforce restrictive measures and sanctions on the Syrian regime and its supporters.

We, together with all our European partners, are ready to offer a new democratic Syria a close political and economic partnership to enable the Syrian people to fulfil their aspirations to live in freedom and dignity./.

(Source of English text: German Foreign Ministry website)

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