State Secretary Torgeir Larsen will participate in the meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Marrakech on 12 December. The meeting will be attended by a majority of UN member states. They will discuss the situation in Syria with the National Coalition and how the international community and the Coalition can work together to increase support for the Syrian opposition.
"The civil war is having terrible consequences for the civilian population in Syria. Between 100 and 200 civilians are being killed every day, and over 40 000 lives are now reported to have been lost. Many more people have been injured. Both parties to the conflict are carrying out attacks on the population and on humanitarian aid workers," Mr Eide said.
Norway is one of the largest contributors of humanitarian assistance to Syria, and it has provided more than NOK 200 million in assistance to those who need it most. Norway is seeking to increase respect for the absolute obligations to protect civilians and humanitarian aid personnel set out in international law.
"It is crucial that the National Coalition wins greater popular support in Syria. The brutality of the current regime and the abuses for which it is responsible are no excuse for others to act in the same way. We urge the National Coalition to undertake not to target humanitarian aid workers, and to make sure that they are granted full access to carry out their work. The international legitimacy of the National Coalition is dependent on the armed groups respecting international humanitarian law," Mr Eide said.