More aid for Syria in works: Genba

Kyodo

Japan is considering providing more aid to ease the suffering in Syria as the regime’s violent attempt to put down an uprising continues, Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said Thursday.

In a meeting with Burhan Ghalioun, the leader of a major Syrian opposition group, Genba expressed Japan’s intention to work closely with the international community to carry out more humanitarian aid and crank up the pressure on the regime of President Bashar Assad to stop using force against civilians.

Ghalioun, president of the Syrian National Council, regretted that Assad’s regime has yet to completely accept a ceasefire plan brokered by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, and called for Japan’s additional help to promote Syria’s reform process.

“‘The most important thing is that all violence will be stopped,” Genba said.

The United Nations has said that more than 9,000 people have been killed since the uprising against Assad’s regime erupted more than a year ago.

Ghalioun, who was invited by the Japanese government, is on a four-day stay in Tokyo scheduled to end Saturday.