Ashton: Syrian government failing to meet commitments amid continuing violence

The Syrian government is failing to meet its commitments under Kofi Annan's plan, despite the presence on the ground of UN observers, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has warned, saying she was extremely concerned about the situation.
In a statement issued on 27 April, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs called on all sides immediately to cease all forms of violence: "I am extremely concerned about the continued violence in Syria in violation of the ceasefire which should have come into effect on 12 April and despite the presence on the ground of UN observers."
She added: "It is clear that the Syrian government is not fulfilling its obligations and is failing to meet its commitments to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from population centres. Therefore, I urge once more the Syrian authorities to fully respect the terms of the agreement with the UN and immediately and fully comply with Kofi Annan’s plan endorsed by UNSC resolutions 2042 and 2043."
"The Syrian Government must ensure that the ceasefire holds," Ashton said. "It must also release detainees, provide access for journalists, ensure freedom to demonstrate peacefully and allow humanitarian assistance. I am very concerned at reports suggesting that the numbers of detainees have sharply increased since the agreement of the ceasefire." (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Read more
Ashton statement
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre – EU steps up sanctions against Syrian regime (23-04-12)
Factsheet - The European Union and Syria (01-03-12)
European External Action Service – Frequently Asked Questions on EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre webpage – Syria

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