||Erkki Tuomioja, Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Audronius Azubalis, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs
||Tonio Borg, Maltese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs
||János Martonyi, hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs
||SOUNDBITE by William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary (In English) saying that: We will of course talk about the situation in Syria. I had a good meeting with the new Syrian opposition coalition on Friday in London; I was impressed with their objectives, with their clarity, their determination to be inclusive in Syria of all communities and groups within Syria and I'll be speaking in our Parliament next week about how we now intend to increase our support for that opposition coalition and bring greater international support for them at the same time.
||Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs
||SOUNDBITE by Guido Westerwelle, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs (In English) saying that: I think it is important that the opposition of Syria could agree on a common platform, we recognize these efforts and I would like to suggest that the group Friends of Syria come together very soon, I think, the best would be to have a meeting of this group before the end of this year and then we can discuss and decide the next steps.
||Eamon Gilmore, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
||SOUNDBITE by Giulio Maria Terzi di Sant'agata, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs: We are aware of the motivation and the reasons of the Palestinian authorities to go the General Assembly with a resolution enhancing the observer state as a Palestinian state. We consider the presentation of the resolution problematic at this very moment in the General assembly. It is problematic not as much as the substance of the resolution but it is problematic exactly because what is happening in Gaza and the emphasis that everybody has to have in obtaining an immediate cessation of the hostilities and of the killings on both sides. We consider that Hamas has a big responsibility in the escalation of the tension there with the launching of hundreds of rockets against unarmed Israeli civilians and that has started the escalation of the last days.
||SOUNDBITE by Laurent Fabius, French Minister for Foreign Affairs (In French) saying that: There is Syria, where we are going to explain why we have taken this decision, we consider the Syrian national coalition as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people. I think that the position of France will be followed in the next days by other countrie as well. Another question is of course what is happening in Gaza, I just spoke with my Egyptian colleague this morning, France is a facilitator of ceasefire, we need urgently a ceasefire because what is happening in Israel and Gaza is very serious.
||SOUNDBITE by Nickolay Mladenov, Bulgarian Minister for Foreign Affairs (In English) saying that: First of all we, in the EU have to give our full backing to the new coalition which has emerged from Doha. We need to ensure that they continue to be open and transparent and they continue to enlarge their support both internally and externally and once we reach agreement on how we, as EU, will proceed, I think we should give them full support including diplomatic support.
||SOUNDBITE by Didier Reynders, Belgian Minsiter for Foreign Affairs (In English) saying that: We will try to work with the new unified opposition; it is true that we need to do that but we will also try to have humanitarian initiative we have put on the table of the General Assembly of the United Nations a resolution to be sure that it's possible to have an application of the minimum standards on humanitarian side because for the moment, there is no free access to the hospitals, to the medical places and we try to do that but of course we work like others with the opposition; it was a success in Doha and we need to do more, maybe in the next weeks if it's possible to have some free zones in Syria, it will be possible to work in the free zone with the opposition.
||SOUNDBITE by Jean Asselborn, Luxembourgish Minister for Foreign Affairs (In Franch) saying that:
I think that we encouraged the opposition to get united. Now, there has been a vote to designate the opposition leader and that is a strong signal. I have been to Cairo with other EU Ministers. The step has been taken and this opposition leader legitimately represents the Syrian people. Now we need to know what we will do with this but there is no problem recognizing it.
||SOUNDBITE by Michael Spindelegger, Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for European and International Affairs (In German)
||SOUNDBITE by Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs and President in offive of the Council (In English) saying that: We have a loaded agenda not only as far as items are concerned but also the importance and the urgency of the items especially the situation in Gaza which is an additional item and we are going to adopt a conclusion as well on the situation in Gaza which is of great concern to all of us because of the intensity of the situation, because of the loss of civilian lives and of course because of the potential increase of tension in the neighbourhood.