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Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Uri Rosenthal Foreign Affairs Minister

Relevant to Resolution 1

Minister attends Syria summit: pressure on Syria to be stepped up, €1m in emergency aid pledged News item | 24-02-2012 The Netherlands is to give €1m in emergency aid to the Syrian people. Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal made this announcement at a meeting in Tunis today at which a group of like-minded countries established the 'Friends of Syria'. 'This meeting of over 60 countries and international organisations demonstrates the international community's impatience,' said Mr Rosenthal. 'We will intensify pressure on the Syrian regime, impose even stricter sanctions and rigorously implement them. Our aim is to ensure that the criminal Assad regime is as isolated as possible. The violence must stop, and Assad must resign to pave the way for the transition to a democratic government.' Mr Rosenthal said he was looking forward to working with the recently appointed UN special envoy for Syria, the former UN chief Kofi Annan. The minister highlighted the importance of a united opposition. 'The more closely they work together, the more their voices will be heard,' he said. 'The opposition should draw up a plan for political transition, in which religious and ethnic minorities have a role and respect for women's rights is guaranteed.' The 'Friends of Syria' will henceforth regard the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people. The Netherlands is supporting the opposition financially, providing expert assistance on combating internet censorship, documenting human rights violations and helping with news gathering. The Tunis summit also discussed the acute humanitarian situation in Syria. The participating countries agreed to provide aid to the Syrian population. The Netherlands is responding to an appeal by the World Food Programme. 'We are doing whatever we can to help the innocent victims of the violence in Syria,' said Mr Rosenthal.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal had talks on Thursday with members of the Syrian opposition in the Netherlands. The Dutch ambassador to Syria was also present. Mr Rosenthal talked about scope for helping the opposition, with technical support enabling internet access, documentation of atrocities in Syria, and expertise in the field of political transition. The Netherlands has already given €1 million to the World Food Programme for humanitarian assistance within Syria. Mr Rosenthal stressed how vital it was for President Assad to step down and the opposition to unite. 'The more united the opposition, the more effective it will be,' he said. The various minorities in Syria need to be able to identify with the Syrian National Council. Of course, Syrian women must also be represented. Like the other countries among the Friends of the Syrian People, the Netherlands regards the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people who seek change. Mr Rosenthal also pointed out that he wants to raise the pressure on President Assad by tightening up and extending the sanctions. He underscored the importance of an orderly political transition.

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION EN Council conclusions on Iran's nuclear programme 3029th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting Brussels, 26 July 2010 The Council adopted the following conclusions: "The Council recalls that the European Council has repeatedly underlined its deepening concerns about Iran's nuclear programme and in that regard, welcomed the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1929 introducing new restrictive measures against Iran. In accordance with the European Council Declaration of 17 June, the Council has today adopted a Decision implementing the measures contained in UN Security Council Resolution 1929 as well as accompanying measures, with a view to supporting the resolution of all outstanding concerns regarding Iran's development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programmes, through negotiation. The Council notes that the Council Decision provides a comprehensive and robust package of measures in the areas of trade, financial services, energy, transport as well as additional designations for visa ban and asset freeze, in particular for Iranian banks, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL). These measures correspond to the areas identified by the European Council in June. The Council again reaffirms the longstanding commitment of the European Union to work for a diplomatic solution of the Iranian nuclear issue. The Council welcomes and fully supports the efforts of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to resume talks in this regard. The Council calls on Iran to seize this opportunity to allay the concerns of the international community about its nuclear programme and agree on a concrete date for talks with the EU High Representative, together with the six countries.