Baird Completes Ministerial Meeting on Syria

April 19, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement at the conclusion of the ministerial meeting on Syria in Paris:

“The Syrian people have faced countless months of repression and violence inflicted by the Assad regime.

“While we are pleased that the Annan plan resulted in some decrease in violence, we are concerned by recent reports of government forces firing upon peaceful protestors, causing UN military observers to evacuate to safety.

“This is completely unacceptable.

“The Syrian authorities must respect the ceasefire. They must respect the rights of the Syrian people to peaceful protest, and they must allow immediate access to humanitarian aid for the more than 1 million Syrians in need.

Today's preliminary agreement between Syria and the UN on the deployment of the observer mission is a positive step, but it must be followed by full cooperation with the UN observers and full implementation of the Annan Plan.

“The Paris meeting was an opportunity to reiterate our support for the Syrian people. Canada has already committed up to $7.5 million in humanitarian aid.

“The Syrian people will see a brighter future—one where their fundamental freedoms are respected and their families can live in peace and security.”

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