For a peaceful political transition in Middle East and North Africa

Thursday, July 7, 2011 - 00:00

The S&D Group today strongly condemned the escalation of violence and brutality from the Syrian security forces against protesters calling for fundamental human rights, freedom and democracy.  The Group called for an urgent UN investigation into the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad.


In Yemen, the S&D Group urges the authorities to move towards an immediate peaceful political transition, in line with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative which calls for the resignation of President Saleh and his family.


In Bahrain, the Group condemns the presence of foreign troops and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all peaceful demonstrators.


S&D vice-presidents Véronique De Keyser and Hannes Swoboda said:


"The massacre of innocent people must end. We call on Bashar al-Assad to stop the repression, to release all peaceful demonstrators immediately and unconditionally, and to accept the citizens' request for dignity, freedom and democracy. We call on the High Representative to explore all the possibilities for an urgent and concrete initiative to stop the violence". 


"We call on the High Representative, the Council and Commission to support the emerging democratic opposition inside and outside the country."


"We invite the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution rejecting the current state of impunity and urging Bashar al-Assad's regime to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.


"The European Parliament wants to show solidarity with the people of these states but unfortunately at the same time some of the member states want to export tanks to other neighbouring regimes with poor democratic credentials.  We should not accept weapons exports to the region at this time.


"In Libya, we need a high-level European presence working on a political solution in parallel to the military action."
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