Syria is important because we are debating the establishment of a new emblem. If that emblem is to have the effect that we all want, it must attract a degree of universal acclaim.
I accept that the red cross has not always done that, and a few moments ago we talked about the Ottoman empire and the subsequent evolution of the symbols concerned. None the less, the cross and the crescent combined at least seemed to enjoy a universality and a widespread recognition across borders that it is not clear that the new symbol will enjoy. That is why I raised the issue of Syria and the doubts in the Arab world about the motives and effects of the new symbol.
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