The solution in Syria must be a political one, say S&Ds
Following the discussion on the situation in Syria which took place this afternoon in the European Parliament, S&D MEP and vice-president for foreign affairs, Victor Boştinaru, said:
"The fragile ceasefire in Syria that came into effect last week is continuing to hold in most areas of the country despite scattered violations. These last ten days have been the quietest that most Syrians have seen in 5 years and the ceasefire should be preserved by all means! This could help build momentum behind peace talks in this war-torn country and allow the international talks, set to start tomorrow, to resume soon.
"There is no real alternative to a political solution and we need a strong political will to make it work. A political solution in Syria will allow the international community to concentrate on what is important: fighting Daesh, and all other terrorist groups, and stopping them from spreading and bringing more war and suffering to the entire region. Finding a solution for Syria will allow Syrians to stay in their homes and not to further risk their lives by coming to Europe or elsewhere.
"The participation of the moderate Syrian opposition in the international talks is essential and should be guaranteed. Therefore, we condemn any actions against the moderate Syrian opposition and the town of Aleppo that could undermine the ceasefire and the international talks.
"The decrease in violence had also allowed for the dispatch of humanitarian aid convoys to the population in need; nevertheless this aid has to continue and the Syrian government has to cooperate and further facilitate the aid. It goes without saying that unless the talks bring results, the humanitarian crisis will continue.
"The boundaries between these various conflicts in Syria are often vague and overlap to varying degrees. It is important for all sides, including Turkey and Russia, to stick to the UNSC Resolution 2254 (2015) objectives: combatting terrorist groups and allowing a solution for Syria."
Richard Howitt MEP, S&D Group foreign affairs coordinator and chair of the European Parliament's working group on the Middle East and North Africa added:
"For too long when we have debated Syria, there has only been despair. Before last week, once again sceptics said the ceasefire in Syria wouldn't hold and humanitarian assistance would remain undelivered. Thankfully, despite acknowledging incidents to the contrary, the sceptics have been proven wrong.
"Our political task this week, and in the weeks that follow, is to continue to offer hope over despair, by pursuing the international talks which could turn a temporary ceasefire into a permanent peace."