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Public Statements

Letter to President Obama and President Van Rompuy

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

US Representative Sue Myrick (NC-09) and Member of European Parliament Jaime Mayor Oreja (EU-Spain) today sent an historicjoint letter to US President Barack Obama and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy asking them to push the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Assad and his regime for the attacks against innocent civilians in Syria. This is the first time a joint letter from a Member of Congress and Member of European Parliament has been sent to world leaders regarding unrest in Syria. The letter also points to greater transatlantic cooperation surrounding the revolts in the Middle East.

"We have been told by Syrians that the Assad regime has directly ordered military force in order to suppress civilian protesters," they wrote in the letter. "The military there is now using tanks, machine guns, snipers and helicopters in an effort to harass and harm Syrians. We are also greatly troubled by reports stating that Syrian security forces have invited Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to assist them in their violent oppression of Syrian civil society".

On Tuesday, June 14, 2011, Members of the US Congress and Members of European Parliament met on Capitol Hill to discuss global counterterrorism efforts following the death of Osama Bin Ladenand the new Arab Spring. This meeting was held by the Transatlantic Group on Counterterrorism, or TAG. This was the third meeting of this group of international leaders.

The goal of TAG is to create a working relationship between legislators from Europe and North America to address terrorism and the threat it poses to democracies. The first TAG summit was held April 30, 2008, in Washington, DC.

Dear President Obama and President Van Rompuy,

Peaceful protests in Syria have been met with violence by the Assad regime. Over the past few weeks there have been targeted attacks against protestors there, and the number of civilian wounded and dead is rising.
We have been told by Syrians that the Assad regime has directly ordered military force in order to suppress civilian protestors. The military there is now using tanks, machine guns, snipers and helicopters in an effort to harass and harm Syrians. We are also greatly troubled by reports stating that Syrian security forces have invited Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to assist them in their violent oppression of Syrian civil society.
Further, we know that Syrian security forces have cut off electricity, water and food for a number of towns and villages they feel are hostile to Assad. These acts have resulted in thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing to Turkey, and other neighboring countries, in order to seek refuge. We believe Assad will continue to unleash his security forces on Syrians, and this will bring about a serious humanitarian crisis for the whole region.
On June 14, 2011, Members of Congress and Members of European Parliament met in the US Capitol for the third Transatlantic Group on Counterterrorism (TAG) summit. This group was formed to create a better working relationship on security issues between legislators in Europe and America. During our meetings, we discussed Syria and the brutal crackdowns. We also heard from Syrian opposition organizations who told of the brutal human rights abuses taking place in Syria. Members of TAG agreed that action must be taken.
Therefore, we are requesting you, our respective Presidents, to push the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Assad and his regime for the attacks against innocent civilians in Syria.
Thank you for your attention to this request.


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