“Health workers and humanitarian aid workers in Syria have become military targets. Norway and the National Coalition have agreed to work together to increase respect for international humanitarian law,” said State Secretary Torgeir Larsen.
On 12 December, Mr Larsen attended a meeting of the international Group of Friends of Syria in Marrakesh, Morocco, and also had a meeting with the two vice presidents in the National Coalition, Riad Seif and Suheir Atassi. At this meeting, Mr Larsen made it clear that being regarded as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people entails obligations. In the present situation, Norway regards the National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and in return expects the coalition to commit itself to ensuring that health workers and aid workers are not considered legitimate targets in the conflict.
“I’m pleased that the coalition stated – both in its meeting with us and in its speech to the group of friends – that it will work for greater understanding of and respect for international humanitarian law in Syria. Norway will engage in a direct cooperation with the coalition on this issue,” said Mr Larsen.
Norway provides humanitarian assistance mainly through the United Nations and the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Committee, as well as international and local civil society organizations.