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Bulgaria expects to host meeting on humanitarian aspects of crisis in Syria

Author: The Sofia Echo staff Date: Tue, Feb 28 2012 3308 Views
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Bulgaria probably will host one of the meetings in April being co-organised by the United Nations on the humanitarian aspects of the crisis in Syria, Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov said on February 27 in Brussels where he was taking part in a meeting of  EU foreign ministers.
EU foreign ministers agreed on February 27 to tighten restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and adopted 10 conclusions that further increase the pressure on the regime in Damascus, a regime clearly responsible for indiscriminate repression of civilians, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said.
The measures include a halt to the trade in gold and other precious metals with the Central Bank of Syria, a ban on cargo aircraft landing at European airports, a freeze on the assets of the Syrian Central Bank in the EU, while seven ministers associated with violations of human rights are subjected to various types of bans.
"Today’s decisions include recognition by the EU of the Syrian National Council as the legal representatives of Syrians, who are fighting for the freedom of their country. This means that the EU is increasing its commitment to, and support for, the Syrian opposition," Mladenov said.
He said that the next "Friends of Syria" conference would be held in Turkey.
In a February 24 statement, Mladenov – referring to the humanitarian aspects of the crisis in Syria - said that some days previously, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights had released information showing that there was reason to believe that crimes against humanity were being committed in Syria.
"If this information is confirmed, those behind it must bear responsibility. The authorities in Syria must immediately stop hiding the truth and must admit the situation regarding injuries and access to medicines and food is critical," Mladenov said. 

"The only possible solution is a system that provides access to teams from UN agencies and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent to the affected areas. This aspect of the crisis is the most urgent because it has to do with saving the lives of many people in various parts of the country.  

"I declare that Bulgaria is ready to host a meeting of representatives of the UN, Arab League, European Union and all interested parties who want to help improve the humanitarian situation in Syria."
In a February 27 statement on the conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting, the foreign ministers said that the EU would continue its policy of imposing additional measures "targeting the regime, not the civilian population, as long as repression continues".
"The EU calls on the international community to join its efforts to target those responsible for or associated with the violent repression and those who support or benefit from the regime," the bloc’s foreign ministers said.

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