Government > Foreign relations > International recognition of the Syrian National Council notes: Countries Compared


Degree to which the Syrian National Council is recognized as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Albania During the meeting on 1 April 2012 Friends of Syria in Istanbul the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, Edmond Haxhinasto underlined the support of the Albanian Government for the Syrian democratic opposition represented by the Syrian National Council, as well as its war for freedom, human dignity and progress.
Australia On 20 January 2012, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd publicly rejected the Assad regime in a joint press conference with French foreign Minister Alan Juppe. "Our view in Australia is that Assad must go." On 24 January, Rudd met with UK foreign minister William Hague, and announced that he had met with Burhan Ghalioun, the President of the SNC, in the previous week.
Austria Vice Chancellor and Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Spindelegger met with SNC President Burhan Ghalioun on 9 December 2011. In a statement regarding the meeting, Spindelegger stated, "A regime that cracks down against its own people with inhumane violence has lost all its legitimacy. With his recent statements, President Assad has proven again that he is either a ruthless cynic or that he lives in a grotesque world of illusion. He must step down immediately, to finally allow for a peaceful transition to a new leadership\u201c.
Belgium A group of Belgian Foreign Ministry officials, headed by Foreign Minister Didier Reynders met with a delegation of the Syrian National Council on 5 January 2012. At the meeting, Reynders informed the delegates that he would to refer the SNC requests for the establishment of a European assistance fund for the Syrian people to the European Union, and would work to "support the SNC's goals until they become a reality on the ground."
Bulgaria Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov announced that the Syrian National Council "is an important partner in dialogue on the future of Syria".
Canada Foreign Minister John Baird , in a 16 December speech in the House of Commons stated, ""Assad will fall. The government will fall. It's only a matter of time". Later that day, Baird met with a Syrian National Council delegation led by Council President Burhan Ghalioun . The council expressed its gratitude for Canada's assistance to the SNC, including international lobbying for new UN Security Council resolutions and its rejection of the Assad government. Discussions were held on Canada's participation in humanitarian assistance during a transitional period and in the rebuilding of a post-Assad Syria.
China A high-level SNC delegation visited Beijing on 10 May 2012 and met with the Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi , the Deputy Foreign Minister, and the Director of External Communication for the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. According to the SNC, Yang promised to "look into" issuing a permit for the SNC to open an official office in China.
Egypt On 24 February 2012, on the heels of the inaugural Friends of Syria Group meeting in Tunis, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr revealed that Cairo recognizes all Syrian opposition factions.
France "The Syrian National Council is the legitimate interlocutor with which we will continue to work," French foreign minister Alain Juppe stated on November 21, 2011.
Germany In a 6 August 2011 interview, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle remarked that "I don't believe that Assad has a political future ahead of him which is supported by the Syrian people". The German foreign ministry is reportedly in talks with the Syrian opposition. In November 2011, a Syrian National Council delegation met with Westerwelle and other high level foreign policy decision makers to brief them on developments in Syria. Westerwelle said "we cannot remain quiet to the human rights violations in Syria.\u201d He then lauded the efforts of the National Council and discussed future cooperation with the SNC regarding the transition phase to democracy.
Italy On 25 November Italian Foreign Minister, Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata reiterated Italy's support to "organised opposition" in the shape of SNC. On 11 December, Terzi met SNC's president Burhan Ghalioun and said Italy would intensify its contacts with SNC which grouped "an important segment" of the Syrian opposition .
Japan On 11 May 2012, a SNC Delegation visited the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and SNC President Burhan Ghalioun held discussions with Foreign Mninister Koichiro Gemba . Later, Ghalioun met with Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Ryuji Yamane and former UN Under Secretary General Yasushi Akashi .
Libya url= http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/new-libyan-government-recognizes-syrian-opposition-council/2011/10/19/gIQAJ3kVyL_story.html|agency=The Washington Post|date=19 October 2011|accessdate=24 October 2011|title=New Libyan government recognizes Syrian opposition council|first=Greg|last=Jaffe}}</ref> The NTC promised the representatives of SNC to hand them over the embassy of Syria in Tripoli .
Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal met with Burhan Ghalioun, the leader of the Syrian National Council on 17 January 2012. Rosenthal has pledged to continue to increase pressure on the Assad government, specifically by promoting EU sanctions and UN Security Council resolutions toward this end. Rosenthal further stated, "It\u2019s time for this to stop: Assad must step down and make way for a democratic Syria." He went on to praise the courage of the Syrian demonstrators and the SNC's role in "representing Syrian issues at an international level."
Norway A Syrian National Council delegation visited Oslo and met with foreign ministry officials, along with political, and humanitarian groups to promote its cause from 9\u201311 December 2012. The council delegation met with the foreign minister, whom had a reaction to their requests that the delegation reported as "generally positive."
Portugal A Syrian National Council delegation, headed by Burhan Ghalioun, met on 3 January 2012 with Foreign Minister Paulo Portas in Lisbon. After a briefing on the current situation in Syria, Portas was requested by the delegation to formally reject the Assad regime, and to use Portugal's influence with Brazil to get the South American country to do the same.
Qatar The UK newspaper, The Times reported that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are to begin funding the Syrian National Council and other armed groups fighting the Assad regime. Prime Minister and foreign minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani visited the United Nations to formally present UN Security Council Ambassadors with a plan for Assad to step down and reliquish power to his Vice-President in lieu of a transitional unity government. Speaking at a 10 March 2010 Arab ministerial meeting, Hamad advised the opposition to unify in order to "merge into one voice that expresses the aspirations of their people so that they can face the tyranny of the regime." Additionally, he called for recognition of the SNC as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in his opening remarks.
Russia The Syrian National Council sent a delegation to Moscow to meet with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on 15 November 2011 in response to an official invitation. While in Moscow, the council met with high level Russian government officials, notably the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Mikhail Bogdanov ; and the Vice Chairman of the Russian Federation, Ilyas Umakhanov .
Saudi Arabia On 22 January 2012, A SNC delegation met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal , who pledged "Saudi Arabia's support and commitment to stand by the Syrian people and to help alleviate their suffering in this crisis." In a 27 January 2012 interview with the Kuwaiti Al-Rai newspaper, SNC Executive Council member Ahmad Ramadan reported that Prince Saud al-Faisal met a SNC delegation in Cairo the week previously. Saud informed them that Saudi Arabia will recognise the SNC as the "official representative of the Syrian people", at a yet unspecified date. The UK newspaper, The Times reported that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are to begin funding the Syrian National Council and other armed groups fighting the Assad regime.
Spain Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jim\u00e9nez confirmed that the Spanish government will look to SNC to discuss issues concerning Syria, and that the channels of dialogue with the Syrian regime have been closed. Jim\u00e9nez said "Spain support for the SNC as the main interlocutor of the Syrian people, who are seeking freedom and democracy".
Sweden Asked about recognising SNC, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt commented: "We are talking to them, as we are talking to a lot of other people who have the ability to influence events in Syria. We will be discussing that further today."
Tunisia Rashid al-Ghannushi , president of Ennahda Movement , Tunisia's largest party stated on 2 November that SNC is the legitimate representative of Syria, at the same time he closed Syrian embassy in Tunis and ousted Syrian ambassador. On 16 December, SNC hold three-day congress (its first international congress) in Tunis where Tunisia's newly elected president, Moncef Marzouki , participated in the talks and had a press conference with SNC's president Burhan Ghalioun . On 19 December Burhan Ghalioun announced that the new Tunisian government will officially recognise the Council.
Turkey On 15 November 2011, Recep Tayyip Erdogan , the Prime Minister of Turkey , has expressed his support for the Syrian National Council, saying that "Turkey had lost confidence in the leadership of Bashar al-Assad " and that "the Syrian leader will pay the price sooner or later". On 14 December 2011, SNC opened its first office in Istanbul . Recep Tayyip Erdo\u011fan has been trying to "cultivate a favorable relationship with whatever government would take the place of Assad."
United Kingdom url= http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=668666482|title=Foreign Office Minister meets Syrian National Council members |date=12 October 2011|accessdate=2012-01-23|publisher=UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office}}</ref> The following month, Foreign Secretary William Hague met with representatives of the SNC and National Coordination Body on 21 November. Speaking about the meeting, Hague remarked, \u201cWe will continue our contacts with the Syrian opposition. I\u2019ve appointed a senior official to lead our liaison and coordination with them... The message for the regime is that the rest of the world is talking to the Syrian opposition, that we are looking to a different future for Syria, for the Syrian people to decide for themselves what, what we want is what so many people in Syria want, a free and democratic future for the people of Syria. And I think the Assad regime will find that more and more Governments around the world are willing to work with the opposition to step up the level of their contacts as we have done today as part of the increasing pressure on this regime and its completely unacceptable behaviour.\u201d After a meeting with the Friends of Syria in Tunis, William Hague said the UK will recognise the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people
United States The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton , deemed the Syrian National Council as a \u201cleading and legitimate representative of Syrians seeking a peaceful democratic transition,\u201d and that the United States was \u201ccommitted to helping... make this transition.\u201d


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