Netherlands and Russia discuss Syria

In the margins of the UN General Assembly, foreign minister Uri Rosenthal has spoken  with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the conflict in Syria.

Mr Rosenthal repeated that there is no future for President Assad in Syria. ‘We need to maximise pressure on the regime,’ he told Mr Lavrov. ‘I hold the regime responsible for the violence. It must stop, and Assad must go. There needs to be consensus on a political solution, and fast.’

According to Mr Rosenthal, Russia has an extra responsibility for ending the violence in Syria. And he believes that the United Nations has a vital role to play. ‘The Netherlands is in favour of a UN resolution condemning the situation. This is the clearest message we can give Syria. This means Russia cooperating in the UN Security Council to make sure Assad goes.’

Earlier this week, Mr Rosenthal criticised the UN Security Council. ‘I blame the members of the Security Council for failing to deal adequately with the Syrian regime,’ he said. ‘The Syrian people are paying a high price for that failure. And in his speech to the General Assembly, Ban Ki-moon urged us to do all we can to ensure that members of the council are no longer paralysed by divisions.’