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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 14, 2007
President Bush Applauds Formation of National Council of the Damascus Declaration
I applaud the recent formation of the National Council of the Damascus Declaration in Damascus, Syria. The brave men and women who formed this Council reflect the desires of the majority of Syrian people to live in freedom, democracy, and peace, both at home and alongside their neighbors in the region.
The Syrian regime continues to hold hundreds of prisoners of conscience and has arrested more than thirty National Council members in the past few days. All those detained should be released immediately.
The Syrian regime continues to deny its citizens fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and the right to elect a representative government responsive to their needs. The formation of the National Council is an encouraging sign to all people who support freedom and democracy. We support the National Council's principles of non-violent struggle and open membership to all the people of Syria who believe the time has come for change.
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