Meeting with SPD group on the situation of Syria

  • - By Society for Threatened Peoples
  • 10/04/2012 00:00:00

On March 22, members of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) – Middle East consultant Dr. Kamal Sido and Maleen Schlüter – met with Angelika Graf. Mrs. Graf is a member of the committee for human rights and humanitarian affairs and the deputy spokeswoman for human rights and humanitarian assistance of the SPD group in the German Bundestag.

The situation in Syria was discussed with Mrs. Graf. So far, about 8,000 people were killed during the conflict which has now lasted for one year. Countless numbers of people were injured during clashes between government forces and the opposition. Tens of thousands of refugees fled to neighboring Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon, where they live in refugee camps in the border region.

Mrs. Graf had an open ear for the STP's appeals – which are listed below – so there is hope that some of them may be implemented. Even though she made clear, that a preferred acceptance of Christians refugees would discriminate others and would also not help to solve the conflict, she approved of the preliminary talks with the minorities in Syria and supported most of the other issues raised by Dr. Kamal Sido. The key points will now be explained briefly:

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) addresses the following claims to the German Federal Government, to the other EU countries and the Arabic States:

1. Tightened sanctions against the regime in Damascus. This should include that all oil imports from Syria to the EU are stopped immediately and completely – and that the Syrian ambassadors are to be expelled from all EU countries. Any economic or political cooperation with the existing regime must be stopped. Many EU countries have already done so, but the others states of the European Union need to follow;

2. A termination of the readmission agreement which was met in 2008 between Berlin and Damascus – to prevent persecutions by the regime and to avoid unnecessary risks for the Syrian citizens;

3. The use of parts Syria's banking assets which are frozen in the EU countries to help the bereaved families of the victims of the Assad regime and to support the families of the injured. A fund to support the Syrian opposition must be created;

4. The German Federal Government, the EU governments and the United States may not accept any "deals" with Turkey or the Syrian Arab opposition that might endanger the democratic rights of the Syrians, particularly the Kurds. The "Syrian matter" should not be left to Turkey. In the region, Turkey is seen as "protecting power" for the Sunni and therefore cannot act as mediator. Also, the Turkish policy towards the Kurds and Christians is often hostile;

5. The sanctions are to be continued until it is ensured that the regime has stopped the violence against the democratic opposition and is prepared to allow democratic change;

6. The German Federal Government, the EU governments and the United States should find a clear position on the future political order in Syria. Only a democratic, pluralistic and secular system in Syria may be supported. Support for any form of government in Syria must be linked to secured linguistic, cultural and administrative rights of the Kurdish people, the Assyrian Arameans and other minorities. Christians, Yezidis, Druze and Alawites must be granted full religious freedom. A neutrally supervised international conference must be founded to discuss Syria's future.

Representatives of minorities such as the Kurds, the Christians, Druze and Alawites – must also be able to participate and decide on the future of the country.


  • - By Society for Threatened Peoples
  • 10/04/2012 00:00:00