Posted by: ingjerdschou | April 26, 2012

Syria – innlegg holdt i Europarådet 26.4.2012


Thank you Mr. President,

The situation in Syria is grave. Civilians are suffering and the Assad regime has lost its legitimacy. However, Syria is not a member of the Council of Europe, it is not a European country. Before coming to Strasbourg I was asked why we are debating Syria. My answer was that even if Syria is not in Europe, the situation in Syria is relevant to us. Human rights are being violated and the Syrian conflict has spillover effects on its European neighbors. We have seen Syrian forces targeting refugees on Turkish territory, and refugees are knocking on European doors. Only involvement by the international community can contain the conflict. This debate is therefore relevant, and this debate is urgent.


I strongly emphasise the special responsibility of the Government of Syria, as the strongest party, to immediately follow up on its’ responsibilities according to the peace plan.


There have been positive developments. The six point peace plan negotiated by Special Envoy Kofi Annan through his mandate from the Arab League is in an early phase of implementation. However, the violations of the cease fire agreement are numerous and civilians are not safe. In the Friends of Syria Coalition the peace plan has been described as the last hope for avoiding civil war, let us do what we can for the plan to be fully implemented.

Just before coming to Strasbourg I saw the news reports on the United Nations decision to send 300 troops to observe the cease fire agreement. It is positive that the Security Council was unified in the adoption of the resolution, and we can only hope that the process of getting the observers on the ground in Syria will be speedy.

In the process forward the cease fire must be respected. The Syrian regime must allow the international community through the United Nations and humanitarian organizations come in and distribute aid. People in Syria are in desperate need for food, medicines and supplies.

Norway has since the start of the conflict supported the Syrian people in their struggle. Targeted sanctions have been imposed and six Norwegian officers are taking part in the advance team of the UN deployed on the ground in Syria. Only yesterday the government announced that the humanitarian assistance from Norway channeled through the UN, Red Cross/Red Crescent and civil society has been increased to nearly seven million Euros. As a parliamentarian I will do what I can to ensure that we in Norway continue to do what we can to support Syria in the vulnerable phase they are in. I call on you to do the same.


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