From the Foreign Ministry of Great Britain: Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met in Paris for the UK-France Summit on 17 February. Syria was one of the areas discussed.
Text of the Communique on Syria following the summit:
The UK and France:
- Reiterate their condemnation of the horrific violence in Syria, which, as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said, may amount to crimes against humanity, and demand that it end immediately. By ordering massive use of force against his own people, President Assad has lost legitimacy and must step aside in the best interests of Syria and the unity of the Syrian nation.
- Commend the League of Arab States for their leadership and fully support the League’s actions and proposals for offering an orderly and peaceful transition of power in Syria. We welcome the launch of the Group of Friends of Syria in Tunis on 24 February, which our Foreign Ministers will attend.
- Welcome the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution which condemns the repression in Syria and calls for the implementation of decisions made by the League of Arab States.
- Support the Syrian people in their aspirations for a better future. We look forward to a Syria which is open, pluralistic and respectful of the rights of all its communities. A stable, democratic and peaceful Syria would play a responsible and positive role in the region.
- Will continue to increase their engagement with the Syrian opposition, including encouraging the opposition to work together and to support the vision of an inclusive, prosperous and free Syria. We encourage the SNC to continue its efforts in this direction.
- Call on the UN and other humanitarian agencies urgently to carry out an assessment of humanitarian needs in Homs and other areas afflicted by violence. The Syrian government should implement an immediate ceasefire to allow immediately this assessment to take place and allow free and unimpeded access for humanitarian personnel to deliver vital relief goods and services to civilians affected by the violence.
- Commit to increase humanitarian aid to provide life-saving goods and services, including medical supplies, food, water and essential household supplies. We will propose the creation of a Humanitarian Working Group of the Friends of Syria to help facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance.
- Support the adoption no later than the 27 February FAC of additional measures by the European Union to increase the pressure on Assad, including a full asset freeze on the Central Bank of Syria.
- Are determined that that the EU should offer a substantial package of assistance for transition in Syria, including support on trade, migration, technical assistance, support for elections, justice, rule of law, human rights, development and economic reform.
- Underline that those responsible for the violence across Syria should be in no doubt that there will be a day of reckoning. The UK and France reiterate their determination to ensure that evidence of crimes is properly documented in order that those guilty of ordering or committing atrocities can be held to account. (photo: Reuters)