Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Rosenthal: Syrian regime faces growing difficulties

The Syrian regime faces growing difficulties, foreign minister Uri Rosenthal said today in Istanbul after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoğlu.

The Syrian regime faces growing difficulties, foreign minister Uri Rosenthal said today in Istanbul after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoğlu.

‘The general impression is that Assad is losing his hold on parts of Syria,’ said Mr Rosenthal. ‘There are more and more signs of cracks in the regime. The number of defectors is growing. All these things in combination suggest that the regime is in increasing difficulties. The question is not whether Assad will step down, but when.’

The two ministers discussed the situation in Syria and the region, including the growing threat of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime. As a neighbour of Syria, Turkey is especially concerned about this danger. ‘The use of chemical weapons is manifestly a red line that Syria must not cross,’ said the Dutch foreign minister.

Thursday evening Mr Rosenthal met with the Syrian National Council (SNC), urging it to work more closely with other opposition groups. He also stressed the importance of respect for minority rights in the free and democratic Syria of the future.