5th Meeting of Friends of Syrian People International Working Group on Sanctions
November 14, 2012
- The 5th meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People International Working Group on Sanctions (Syria Sanctions WG) will be held on November 30th 2012 in Tokyo. Japan, represented by Mr. Makio Miyagawa, Director-General of Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, will chair the meeting. Officers on the working level are expected to participate from relevant countries and organizations, primarily comprising members of the Syria Sanctions WG. The meeting will be held in Asia for the first time in a series of the meetings of Sanctions WG.
- The meeting will be convened as a part of efforts by the international community toward stopping the violence in Syria, and the discussion of the meeting will focus on improving the effectiveness of the sanctions implemented by the like-minded countries, including Japan and Western countries, and on broadening the horizon of countries participating in the sanctions.
- Japan strongly hopes that the Syrian regime will respond promptly to the call by the international community including to stop the violence against its own people.
<Reference: Syria Sanctions WG>
The Syria Sanctions WG is one of the two working-level meetings (one on Economic Recovery and Development and the other on Sanctions). The establishment of the Sanctions WG was agreed at the second Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People in April 2012. The WG has met four times, reporting on the effects of the sanctions imposed by like-minded countries against Syria and discussing the future course of actions.
<Reference: Past meetings> (host country underlined)
1st meeting: April 17 (Paris, co-chaired by France, Morocco & EU)
2nd meeting: June 6 (Washington D.C., co-chaired by U.S., Qatar & Turkey)
3rd meeting: July 19 (Doha, co-chaired by Qatar, Japan & UK)
4th meeting: September 20 (The Hague, co-chaired by the Netherlands, Tunisia & Canada)
<Reference Japan's past response to Syrian situation>
Japan has already implemented a series of sanctions of its own against Syria, including a freeze on Syrian assets and a ban on visa issuance. In addition, regarding the support to the Syrian refugees and the Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs), Japan has implemented the grant aid for three times amounting 13 million dollars in total, including providing food, medical support, hygiene goods, and shelters.
April 23: Japan issues foreign minister's statement condemning the Syrian regime for its use of violence.
April 26: Japan issues "evacuation advisory" for the entire area of Syria.
May 11: Japan issues foreign minister's statement calling for review of its economic assistance to Syria.
Aug. 1: Japan issues foreign minister's statement condemning the Syrian regime for cracking down on the city of Hama and elsewhere.
Aug. 19: Japan issues foreign minister's statement calling on President Assad to step aside.
Sept. 9: Japan implements sanctions including asset freeze on 15 individuals and 6 organizations related to President Assad.
Dec. 22: Japan adds 3 individuals and 6 organizations to the list of sanctions including asset freeze.
Feb. 24: Japan decides to give 3 million dollars in emergency grant aid (through ICRC and UNHCR) for Syrian refugees/IDPs.
March 9:Japan adds 2 individuals and 4 organizations to the list of sanctions including asset freeze.
March 21: Japan temporarily closes its embassy in Syria for reason of security deterioration.
May 9-12: Dr. Burhan Ghalioun, President of the Syrian National Council, visits Japan and meets with Minister for Foreign Affairs Gemba.
May 18: Japan decides to give 5 million dollars in emergency grant aid (through UNHCR, WFP and UNOCHA) to assist Syrian refugees/IDPs.
May 29: Japan issues foreign minister's statement resolutely condemning the Syrian regime for massacre in Houla.
May 30: Japan calls on the Syrian ambassador in Tokyo to leave at early date.
June 5: Japan declares the Syrian ambassador in Tokyo as persona non grata.
July 6: Japan adds 3 individuals to the list of sanctions including asset freeze and also bans charter flights to Japan using a Syrian aircraft. Japan’s economic sanctions cover a total of 23 individuals and 16 organizations.
July 19: Japan co-chairs the 3rd Syrian Sanctions WG meeting in Doha, along with Qatar and UK.
Aug. 24: Japan decides to give 5 million dollars in emergency grant aid to aid Syrian refugees.
- (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)