European Parliament calls for Syrian president to go
(STRASBOURG) - Members of the European Parliament called Thursday for the immediate departure of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad who, by choosing repression instead of reforms, they said had lost all legitimacy.
In a resolution adopted in Strasbourg, the parliament called on Assad and his regime to "relinquish power immediately."
"The Syrian regime is calling its legitimacy into question by choosing a path of repression instead of fulfilling its own promises on broad reforms," the resolution said.
Members condemned the use of force against protesters and the persecution of activists and journalists while calling for "an independent, transparent and effective investigation into the killings, arrests, arbitrary detention and alleged forced disappearances and instances of torture by the Syrian security forces."
The European Union has along with the United States been calling for Assad to go since mid-August.
The resolution comes as member countries move to adopt a raft of economic sanctions against the Syrian regime which could include, in addition to a ban on oil investments, a ban on funding the Syrian central bank with notes printed in Europe.
Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, Secretary of State for European affairs and economic policy, said Wednesday that Assad has lost all credibility due to his broken promises and the use of force against his people.
"There is no way forward for Syria with this regime, and we think President al-Assad should now step aside," he said.
The United Nations estimates the Syrian government crackdown on protests has killed 2,600, mostly civilians, since March, while rights groups say thousands of people have been arrested in the crackdown.
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