EU condemns Syrian regime for atrocities against its civilians


SYRIAN CRISIS:EU LEADERS have called on the Syrian authorities to bring an immediate halt to “the massive violence and human rights abuses” being inflicted on the country’s civilian population.

Speaking to reporters at the end of a two-day summit where Syria was among the issues discussed, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said European Union leaders were “appalled, frankly, at what is happening there”.

He said the EU high representative on foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, had briefed the summit on the humanitarian efforts under way in an attempt to ease the situation.

“Obviously this is a matter of very serious concern for the European Council and, in parallel with what the Council of Foreign Ministers agreed, the council expressed itself as being frankly appalled at what is happening in Syria at the moment,” Mr Kenny said.

In a separate news conference, British prime minister David Cameron called on the Russian and Chinese governments to join in international condemnation of the Syrian authorities. “The history of Homs is being written in the blood of its citizens. The situation there is truly terrible – constant shelling, no water, no food, no medicines, freezing conditions. It is a scene of medieval barbarity.”

He added: “The world must come together to condemn the killing, so I say to the Russians and to the Chinese: ‘Look hard at the suffering in Syria and think hard again about supporting this criminal regime.’ ”

Mr Cameron said he had “a clear message” for those in authority in Syria. “Make a choice: turn your back on this criminal regime or face justice for the blood that is on your hands.”

The communiqué issued after the summit said the European Council “recognises the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of Syrians.

The European Council remains determined to ensure that those responsible for the atrocities being committed in Syria are held accountable for their actions and will coordinate closely with, and assist, those working to document these appalling crimes.”