Recent events, including the killings at Houla, have exposed the Asad regime’s determination to continue waging war on the Syrian people. The international community cannot sit idly by, and we won’t — today’s Friends of the Syrian People sessions are increasing the pressure on the regime and deepening its isolation.
Sanctions are having an impact: businesses and organizations are cutting their ties with the regime, senior officials responsible for human rights violations have had their funds frozen and their travel curtailed, and we are disrupting the ability of the regime to receive weapons and other supplies. These sanctions are specifically pointed at members of the regime and its war machine; they do not target the Syrian people and do not apply to supplies of critical goods. It is the regime that is causing Syrians to suffer from economic hardship, to deprive them of fuel, cooking oil, and other essentials.
We have taken important steps, but much work remains. We must continue to close off the regime’s economic lifelines, expand the circle of countries vigorously implementing sanctions, and prevent the Syrian government from evading them. And we welcome other countries’ views about additional measures that would be effective. The regime must end the atrocities, comply with all its commitments under the Annan plan, and allow the transition to a democratic Syria to begin.