Foreign Secretary comments on new EU sanctions against Syria

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the EU sanctions sent a further clear and unambiguous message to the Syrian authorities.

“Today’s EU measures send a further clear and unambiguous message to the Syrian authorities: we will not stand by while the Syrian regime uses violent repression to silence its own people. President Assad and senior officials need to recognise that violence will not lead to long term stability. Only genuine political reform, which has been half-promised but not delivered, can address the demands of the Syrian people.

“These measures are carefully targeted and focussed on those responsible for violent repression. Contrary to the Syrian authorities’ claims, the economic problems Syria is facing are a direct and predictable consequence of the Syrian authorities’ decision to chose repression over reform.

I welcome the inclusion of three Iranian individuals on the list. The Iranian government’s provision of equipment and technical advice to help suppress peaceful protests is absolutely unacceptable. Iran’s actions are in stark contrast to the will of the Syrian people. They also highlight again Iran’s blatant hypocrisy, claiming publicly to support freedom in the Arab world, while privately assisting in violent repression.

Today’s sanctions come amid reports of yet more Syrian forces deployed in Khirbet al-Jouz, a village close to the Turkish border. This Syrian repression risks endangering both broader security and those seeking safety. We again call on the Syrian regime to end the violence immediately.”