Wien, 30. July 2012 Press release

Waldner: “UN Security Council must ensure protection of civilians in Syria”

State Secretary calls for unrestricted humanitarian access

Vienna, 30 July 2012 – “The international community must respond quickly and take decisive action to put an end to the conflict and bloodshed in Syria”, Austrian State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner said against the background of the fierce battle raging in Aleppo. “The excessive violence and the continued use of heavy weapons that the regime in Damascus is directing against its own people call for clear action and for a closing of ranks of the UN Security Council”, Waldner continued. The Security Council is to convene this week at the request of France for an emergency meeting on Syria. In addition, a resolution on the situation in Syria has been submitted to the UN General Assembly which will vote on it in the course of this week.

“Russia, too, must realise that the conflict in Syria is by no means an internal affair any more. The humanitarian consequences of the excessive violence of the Assad regime in Syria and in the neighbouring countries cannot be overlooked. Russia and China can play a positive role by making a determined reaction of the UN Security Council to the affairs in Syria possible”, Waldner said.

“Humanitarian aid for the civilian population affected by the conflict and for the tens of thousands of refugees is a priority now”, the State Secretary said. It is therefore essential that humanitarian organisations and relief workers be granted unrestricted access to the suffering people in Syria. “Austria has recently increased its humanitarian commitment for the people of Syria and thus expressed its solidarity. We have earmarked 1 million euros of relief funds for the civilian population in Syria and for refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. It is now decisive that this help will reach those in need quickly”, Waldner concluded.

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