S&Ds: we need to restart political negotiations on Syria
Today, the European Parliament hold the debate on the escalating war in Syria, after the chemical weapons attack in Douma – a suburb of Damascus.
Victor Boștinaru, S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs, said:
“I trust that today we don’t have to choose between fighting terrorism and protecting the Syrian civilians, defending human rights and international law. I am appalled by the ones denying the obvious and playing down the seriousness of the last chemical attack. There is no doubt about the responsibility of the regime which is engaging in what the UN has termed a ‘crime of extermination’. There is no doubt that the attacks are unacceptable. The Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance are engaging in deliberate indiscriminate attacks, have targeted hospitals and rescue workers, and are impeding the access of humanitarian aid to the ones in need.
“It is important also not to forget that Russia has made it impossible for the UN Security Council to act on Syria. But we should persevere in our efforts and use this momentum to reinvigorate the UN led process and to implement a ceasefire on all the Syrian territory. Finally we strongly support the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact finding mission and of the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) until we are sure that the Syrian chemical weapons programme is irreversibly dismantled.”
S&D vice-president Elena Valenciano added:
“The European Union way is the political way. What is certain today, is that the Syrian people are the ones losing this war and that no strike will change their suffering and the course of that war after half a million dead casualties and millions of displaced.
“Syria, Europe and the international community need to go back to the beginning and restart the efforts for high political negotiations.
“Those countries having an impulse to act need to direct all their energies to convincing Russia, and the rest of the actors supporting Assad, to go back to Geneva or to Brussels to negotiate; to read again the UN Security Council and retrieve respect for international law.
“The EU foreign affairs Council was very clear yesterday: the future of Syria lies in peace and democracy. Even if we could understand, even share action to stop the use of chemical weapons, our call is for a new opportunity for the political solution and we support the resumption of the road map designed under the authority of the United Nations.”