Statement by the Tánaiste on Syria30/5/12
The current situation in Syria is utterly unacceptable. I have made clear our outrage at the massacre in Houla on Saturday. We now know that over 100 people were killed, almost half of them children, and a large number from one extended family. There are also increasing indications that most of the victims were deliberately killed at close range, in addition to others killed by artillery fire.
I welcome the unanimous statement made by the UN Security Council as well as the statement issued by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the EU which clearly placed the responsibility on the Syrian military.
France, the UK and other partners have announced the expulsion of their resident Syrian Ambassadors (although the Embassies in question remain functioning). I expect that other EU partners will follow suit. As there is no resident Syrian Mission in Dublin, this does not arise for Ireland. Syria accredits to Ireland from London; there is currently no Syrian Ambassador in London.
Ireland and its EU partners will continue to give full support to the efforts of Kofi Annan to secure a real ceasefire and to begin a political process. We must all work to support his efforts, as there is no other plan available to prevent a complete descent into even greater violence.
Ireland has also contributed officers to the UN observer mission on the ground in Syria. While this mission is small in numbers and cannot be everywhere, its presence has had some effect, up to now at least, in containing the violence. This and all other aspects of the Annan Plan deserve the unstinting support of the international community.
[The Tánaiste’s earlier statement at the weekend condemning the murders in Houla is available at http://dfa.ie]