Vassilis Bontosoglu, the Head of the European Union delegation to Syria, has responded to the letter of the European Commission on Justice and Development to EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. The letter reads:
“Thank you for your letter of to the High Representative, Mrs. Ashton, regarding the situation of Syrian Armenians. She asked me to reply on her behalf.
The EU shares your concern on the dire condition of the Syrian Armenians, and, most generally, with the innocent civilians targeted by extremist forces.
I also am aware of the reported attacks on the village of Kessab and numerous other locations. I have always supported the consistent EU policy, as expressed in numerous Foreign Affairs conclusions on Syria, condemning any attacks on the civilian population in Syria. Most recently, the EU has reiterated its increasing concern with the worsening plight of all vulnerable groups, ethnic and religious minorities in Syria.
The EU has repeatedly pointed to the danger of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliates to the stability of the Middle East, and is working with all stakeholders in the region to limit the influence of these groups, calling on all relevant parties to halt support to them. We are determined to engage with third countries to deal effectively with terrorism.
Please be assured that we will continue to devote all our efforts, within the means at our disposal, to fight extremism and to vigorously support a peaceful co-existence between all ethnic and religious groups in Syria. “