Strasbourg, 30.05.2012 – The Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), meeting today in Paris under the chairmanship of Pietro Marcenaro (Italy, SOC), made the following statement:
“The Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy joins the international community and the President of the Assembly in condemning, in the strongest possible terms, the massacres perpetrated last weekend near the town of Houla, where more than a 100 people, mainly women and children, were savagely and summarily executed.
There is clear evidence that the Syrian government bears the responsibility for these massacres. The United Nations Security Council condemned them and many European and other like-minded states are expelling Syrian ambassadors as a result.
We believe that it is still possible to make the Annan Plan work, even if, after the acceptance by all parties of the ceasefire, more than 1,000 persons have been killed and the other key points in the plan have yet to be implemented.
Above all, the committee recalls that the rejection of all forms of violence is a pre-condition for a Syrian-led political process which is an integral aspect of the Annan Plan.
How many more “last chances” should be given to Mr Assad? Time is running out.”
The Sub-Committee on the Middle East will discuss the situation in Syria this afternoon, with the participation of Ambassador Hitti, Director of the Mission of the League of Arab States in Paris.