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EU says Syrian opposition not sole legitimate representative of people

November 19, 2012, 23:20 UTC+3

The Council said the EU is “appalled by the deteriorating situation in Syria”

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BRUSSELS, November 19 (Itar-Tass) —— The European Union does not recognise the Syrian opposition to be the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said in a statement on Monday, November 19.

“The EU considers them legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people,” she said after a meeting of the EU Council.

The Council said the EU is “appalled by the deteriorating situation in Syria”.

“The EU remains deeply concerned by the spill-over effects of the Syrian crisis in neighbouring countries in terms of security and stability. The EU remains committed to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria. The EU reiterates its full support to the efforts of the Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi in finding a political solution to the crisis. The EU continues to call on all members of the UN Security Council to uphold their responsibilities,” the statement said.

The EU welcomed the agreement reached on November 11 in the meeting of the Syrian opposition groups gathered in Doha and in particular the formation of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.

“The EU considers them legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people. This agreement represents a major step towards the necessary unity of the Syrian opposition,” the Council said.

The EU looks forward to this new coalition continuing to work for full inclusiveness, subscribing to the principles of human rights and democracy and engaging with all opposition groups and all sections of Syrian civil society. The EU stands ready to support this new Coalition in these endeavours and its relations with the international community. The EU encourages the Coalition to engage with the UN/LAS Special Representative and to put forward its programme for a political transition with a view to creating a credible alternative to the current regime, the statement said.

The EU also reiterated its commitment to further increase its humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of all affected population throughout Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries. “The EU calls on all donors to do the same. The EU reiterates the necessity for all parties to abide by International Humanitarian Law and its demand for strict respect for the specific protection provided to medical personnel and facilities under International Humanitarian Law,” the statement said.

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