Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton, on efforts to end the violence in Syria

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The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made today the following statement:

"I am appalled by the situation in Syria, where the regime continues its ruthless and outrageous campaign of repression against the Syrian people. Since the beginning of the uprising, I have consistently repeated the EU's call for an immediate end to violence.

The Arab League has demonstrated important leadership in the Syrian crisis. I have underlined our strong support to the Arab League's efforts, which are focused on ending the crisis, upholding the rights of the Syrian people and restoring peace. Yesterday, the Secretary General of the Arab League and the Prime Minister of Qatar addressed the UN Security Council to seek the support of the international community for a political solution to this crisis, leading to a peaceful, democratic transition in Syria.

The EU has been leading international calls for strong UN action. The latest draft resolution tabled by Morocco on 27 January aims at backing Arab League calls for an inclusive, Syrian-led political process conducted in an environment free from violence, fear, intimidation and extremism. The time has come for all members of the UNSC to stand by the Syrian people. As negotiations in New York continue, I call once again on all members of the Security Council to assume their responsibilities and act without further delay."