CPH Post


Government calls for end to Assad regime at peace talks

As peace talks get underway, Foreign Minister Holger K Nielsen (SF) says Syrian president has no future

Foreign Minister Holger K Nielsen at the Geneva II Syrian peace talks yesterday (Photo: Scanpix)

January 23, 2014

by PS

As the Syria peace talks proceed in Geneva, Foreign Minister Holger K Nielsen (SF) has issued his support for the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s rule and the implementation of a new transitional government.

“Denmark supports the moderate opposition, [but] it’s an important step that representatives of the opposition and government are sitting in the same room for the first time,” Nielsen stated in a press release.

He added that a new transitional government should be given full executive power over the military and security services.

READ MORE: Danish NGOs join international call for peace in Syria

Assad has no future
“We want to place maximum pressure on Assad and it’s hard to see that his regime has a future in Syria. Far too many people have died, and far too many are living as refugees. There is only one solution, and it is political.” Nielsen wrote.

It is estimated that 130,000 people have died in the conflict between the Syrian government and opposition groups, while 2.4 million refugees have left the country and another 6.5 million have been displaced within the war-torn country.

“I hope [the negotiations] are the first little step to improving access for emergency humanitarian aid. While it does not fundamentally solve the problem, it will directly help the suffering civilian population," Nielsen wrote. "The need is enormous. Simply enormous."

READ MORE: Syrian chemical weapons removed by Danish ships

War crimes
Despite Nielsen’s ambitions, Assad is reluctant to give up power according to The Guardian, and blames Western-backed insurgents for the ongoing bloodshed.

However a recent trove of photographs smuggled out of Syria by a photographer employed by the Syrian military police implicate the Assad regime in the organised killing of some 11,000 prisoners.

Prosecutors working in the UN war crimes tribunal have told The Guardian that the photographs are strong evidence that the Assad regime has committed war crimes.

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