Japan Urges Syrian Government to Immediately ``Halt Violence and Bloodshed``

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Washington Suspended Embassy Operations in Damascus

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) Japan urged the Syrian government to halt the continued oppression against its people without delay so further bloodshed is prevented, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said in a statement.

Gemba noted that "more than 5,400 people have been killed in relation to the ongoing oppression in Syria since March last year. Nevertheless, the UN Security Council, despite its international membership, was unable to issue a strong and unified message regarding this inhumane and undemocratic situation. This is deeply regrettable and brings profound distress to those people suffering under the oppression."

The UN Security Council draft resolution on the Syrian situation was rejected on Saturday, February 4th 2012.

The oppression in Syria continues as before, beginning with the city of Homs, and the number of casualties is growing. In order to prevent further bloodshed, Japan urges the Syrian government to halt the violence immediately, and to implement the Arab League peace plan promptly and fully, the statement said.

Japan called on the international community for an urgent and unified response to improve the situation in Syria, and said it will continue to make every diplomatic effort possible, in coordination with the international community.

In a related development, the United States said it has suspended operations of its Embassy in Damascus as of February 6 and its ambassador and all American personnel have now departed the country.

The recent surge in violence, including bombings in Damascus on December 23 and January 6, has raised serious concerns that our Embassy is not sufficiently protected from armed attack. We, along with several other diplomatic missions, conveyed our security concerns to the Syrian Government but the regime failed to respond adequately, U.S. Department of State said.

Ambassador Ford has left Damascus but he remains the United States Ambassador to Syria and its people. As the President’s representative, he will continue his work and engagement with the Syrian people as head of our Syria team in Washington. Together with other senior U.S. officials, Ambassador Ford will maintain contacts with the Syrian opposition and continue our efforts to support the peaceful political transition which the Syrian people have so bravely sought, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of State.

The statement noted that Washington will continue to be gravely concerned by the escalation of violence in Syria caused by the regime's blatant defiance of its commitments to the action plan it agreed to with the Arab League.

The deteriorating security situation that led to the suspension of our diplomatic operations makes clear once more the dangerous path Assad has chosen and the regime’s inability to fully control Syria. It also underscores the urgent need for the international community to act without delay to support the Arab League’s transition plan before the regime’s escalating violence puts a political solution out of reach and further jeopardizes regional peace and security, the statement said.

Photo: A tank moves in Homs city, Syria

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