Foreign Minister Tuomioja attended the Friends of the Syrian People meeting in Paris
Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja spoke in Paris in the Friends of the Syrian People meeting on behalf of the delegations from Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia.
Tuomioja appealed for increasing international pressure to end the violence in Syria. Especially arms deliveries to the country must be blocked. Tuomioja spoke in Paris on behalf of eight states – the Nordic and the Baltic states – in the Friends of the Syrian People conference that had participants from over a hundred countries.
The conference was opened by the President of France François Hollande. The meeting had delegations from over a hundred countries, including 50 ministers. The participants also included many representatives of the Syrian opposition. China and Russia were not present at the meeting.
According to Minister Tuomioja, in the worst case scenario, the violence will escalate to the neighbouring countries and thereby impact the balance of the entire region.
“Most importantly, we must immediately put a stop to the killing and the acts of violence that have caused the death of more than 16,000 people, mostly civilians, including women and children,” Tuomioja said in Paris.
The international community must act in unity and give strong support to Annan's plan. Tuomioja was particularly concerned for arms imports to Syria.
“All countries must refrain from arms deliveries and supporting of the violent acts. Both legal and illegal flow of arms in Syria must be stopped,” Tuomioja pleaded.
The European Union has agreed on measures and constraints against the Syrian administration. The NB8 countries appealed to all the UN Security Council members for a unified decision to increase the international pressure for enforcing Annan’s plan and to start the political change.
According to Tuomioja, the international community must be unanimous and act fast so that radicalisation and escalation of the Syrian crisis can be avoided.
“We plead to all the members of the UN Security Council to act in unity and increase the international pressure to reaffirm Kofi Annan’s plan. It is the key to starting the political process,” Tuomioja said.