The foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France and Germany have said that this year’s announced Syrian presidential election will be neither free nor fair nor one that can meet the expectations of the international community.
A joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France and Germany to mark the 10th anniversary of the Syrian civil war said that the people of Syria took to the streets 10 years ago for legitimate demands, but that the Syrian government responded with violence and “mind-boggling” violence.
The Syrian government and its supporters are to blame for the suffering in Syria’s 10-year war.
Thanking those who have documented the massacres in Syria, human rights abuses and violations of international law, the statement stressed that about 13 million people in Syria, equivalent to more than half the population, have become in need of humanitarian assistance.
“Millions of Syrians who have been generously welcomed by Syria’s neighbors Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt or have become refugees from within cannot return home for fear of violence, arbitrary arrest and torture,” the statement said.
The Syrian government and its supporters should return to negotiations on a political solution as soon as possible, the statement said, adding:
“This year’s proposed Syrian presidential election will not be free, fair, nor will it lead to any step towards the international normalization of the Syrian regime. The ability of any political process to make all voices heard requires the participation of all Syrians, including the diaspora and refugees” !.!.!
Stressing that the four countries will not leave Syrians alone, the statement said that they are in favor of a peaceful solution under the umbrella of the United Nations (UN), that it is unacceptable for the Syrian government to go unpunished, and that pressure will continue to be put on accountability for crimes against humanity in the country.
The statement said:
“We will continue to support the investigation and the important role of the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism. We are pleased that national courts are investigating and prosecuting crimes committed in Syria in their jurisdiction. We will not accept Syria’s non-compliance with the Chemical Weapons Treaty and we will fully support the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in this regard.” ..
The statement called for a nationwide ceasefire and said UN Special Representative for Syria Geir Pedersen would support all efforts in Syria, including humanitarian aid.