Ireland joins international action to help Syrian people24 February 2012
TUNIS, 24 February 2012 - The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., today attended the International Conference of the Friends of the Syrian People in Tunis. The Tánaiste's presence underlines the Irish Government’s determination to increase international pressure on the Syrian regime to cease its appalling and ruthless campaign of repression. The meeting bolstered cooperation among Syrian opposition groups and sought to hold the regime internationally accountable for its crimes.
Speaking at the Conference the Tánaiste called for international action to assist Syrian civilians in dire need of protection and humanitarian assistance. He also demanded additional pressure, including robust economic, political and diplomatic measures, to bring an end to the appalling acts of violence and carnage which we have witnessed over the past months. He expressed strong support for the role played by the UN and the Arab League, particularly the appointment of Kofi Annan as Special Envoy. The Tánaiste said:
“Today’s meeting showed to all those within and outside Syria seeking to create a better future for their country that the international community will stand with them and do everything it can to support Syria’s democratic opposition.”
The situation in Syria has deteriorated markedly in the weeks since the failed Security Council Resolution on 4 February. The Irish Government looks to the UN Security Council to live up to its prerogatives and responsibilities in relation to this crisis. The Tánaiste said:
“It is deeply regrettable that the Security Council has been unable to act and speak with a common voice. This has only served to deepen and intensify the tragedy we are now observing, and has clearly emboldened the Syrian regime to intensify its campaign of indiscriminate violence. My clear message at today’s meeting was that Security Council must display leadership and take the lead in matters of international peace and security.”