Washington – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Chairman of the International Development and Foreign Assistance Subcommittee, expressed his concerns over the dire events that continue to unfold in Syria. He has previously joined the Senate in condemning the crackdown that began last year.
“My grave concerns about Syria have grown deeper over the last few days as the situation has further deteriorated. The safety of our American diplomats abroad is sacrosanct and I am heartened to hear our Embassy staff in Damascus has now left Syria and they are free from harm. However, their departure and the closing of the U.S. Embassy are clear signs of the reckless, repressive and violent nature of the Assad regime at this point. The escalating violence is unconscionable. I am also very disappointed in Russia and China’s veto of the United Nations Security Council’s initiative to help stem the violence. The community of nations must stand together to reject this type of brutality and step in to protect lives and basic human rights. I stand with my Senate colleague ready to support the Syrian people in that effort.”
Senator Cardin led a Congressional delegation – the first in many years – to Syria in February 2009 as Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission. During this visit, Senator Cardin pressed Syrian President Assad intensely on the need for fundamental freedoms and human rights.