Dutch Syrians demand tougher tone from EU

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Syrians living in the Netherlands want the European Union to state unequivocally that the regime in Damascus has lost all legitimacy and that President Basher al-Assad must go.

A delegation of Dutch Syrians made these statements during a meeting with a number of MPs to discuss the situation in the country. Members of the delegation said that a failure on the part of the international community to take a tougher tone with the Assad regime could lead to civil war in Syria. Last week, the EU leadership condemned “The continuous oppression, and the unacceptable and shocking violence” used by the Syrian regime against its own people. The EU, which has extended its sanctions against Syria, says the regime’s actions have cast its legitimacy in doubt.

Khaled al Haj Saleh, speaking on behalf of the Syrian Committee for the Support of the Syrian Revolution, said the EU statement was not going far enough. And the Dutch government should also adopt a tougher position and openly advocate the departure of President Assad.

In the past three months between 1,100 and 1,600 people have been killed in Syria, most of them as the result of brutal army and police violence. Mr Al Haj Saleh said the world was watching how Assad is killing his own people.

The Dutch Syrians also called on the EU to support social organisations to facilitate a European conference for the Syrian opposition.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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