Friends of Syria: The continued suffering of the Syrian people is unacceptable and must end

The Friends of Syria group released a joint statement on Thursday through US Special Envoy for Syria Ethan Goldrich’s office, stating:

“We remain committed to the pursuit of a political resolution to the Syrian crisis in accordance with UNSCR 2254 that will protect the rights and dignity of all Syrians.  As we near the 11th commemoration of the peaceful Syrian uprising on March 15, we acknowledge the continued suffering of the Syrian people, which is unacceptable and must end.”

The statement was released after the Friends of Syria meeting on Thursday, which brought together representatives from the United States, Turkey, France, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in Washington, DC.

It added, “We continue to call for a nationwide ceasefire and respect for international humanitarian law, and to stress the importance of unhindered access to life-saving humanitarian assistance through all modalities, including through the re-authorization of cross-border humanitarian aid delivery, to which there is no alternative, as well as cross-line aid and early recovery projects consistent with UNSCR 2585.”

The statement also welcomed UN Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen’s briefing, stating, ” We took note of his efforts to build momentum, including through the step-for-step process, in accordance with our strong support to advance a comprehensive and inclusive political solution according to UNSCR 2254, as well as the implementation of all its aspects.”

It also called for tangible results from the seventh round of the next session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee this March and indicated that the gathered countries will continue to press for accountability, especially for the most serious crimes committed in Syria, including the use of chemical weapons.

The statement also said the group of countries would continue to press for the release of the arbitrarily detained and a full accounting of the missing, and welcomed ongoing efforts to prosecute crimes committed in Syria.