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Statement by Minister Flanagan TD on the fifth anniversary of the Syria uprising

“It is sobering that today marks the fifth anniversary of the Syrian protests. The cessation of hostilities which has been in force in recent days has allowed Syrian protestors to renew their calls for freedom and an end to tyranny for all Syrians. Syria’s people have demonstrated that they are stronger than their oppressors.
“I reiterate Ireland’s strong and continued support for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. I urge the negotiators meeting this week in Geneva to make every effort to reach agreement based on the 2012 Geneva principles and UN Security Council resolution 2254. Ireland supports the efforts by UN Special Envoy Steffan de Mistura to find a sustainable resolution to this crisis.
“Syria’s future depends on the hope of peace and stability, and the freedom for Syrians to rebuild their lives and their country free from violence. The flight of millions from Syria is caused above all by the terror of the Assad regime and the loss of hope for a viable future for their country.
“The incessant violence of the Assad regime against its own people must end and those responsible must be held accountable for the war crimes and crimes against humanity which have been committed against hundreds of thousands of victims.
“Ireland also stands with its partners in opposing by all legal means the threat of extremism and terrorism. Daesh and Al-Qaeda have no role to play in any free or democratic society and their murderous totalitarianism must be defeated to uphold the pluralistic traditions of Syrian society.
“Ireland has been providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people throughout this conflict, and I would like to renew Ireland’s commitment to helping those in need. At the London summit on Syria in February, Ireland pledged to provide €20 million in humanitarian assistance to Syria in 2016, bringing Ireland’s total contribution for the Syria crisis to €62 million since 2012. We will work to ensure that this assistance reaches those most in need inside Syria and in the neighbouring countries.”