Today, the European Parliament debated the situation in Syria for the first time since the US announcement to withdraw its troops from the country, a move that would make the positions of the Assad regime, the Russian and Iranian forces supporting it stronger, and could have important humanitarian consequences.

The S&D Group reaffirmed the call to the international community to intensify the efforts to bolster the UN-led political peace process in Geneva and end the war in Syria.

S&D Group vice-president on foreign affairs, Victor Boştinaru, said:

“Contrary to what some say, the war in Syria has not ended. Yes, we have seen a decrease in the intensity of fighting. Yes, the Syrian-Russian-Iranian military alliance has retaken territories held by major opposition forces following attacks that involved indiscriminate airstrikes and prohibited weapons. However, the fate of tens of thousands of people remains unknown. 

“The war will only end when we we’ve found a way towards genuine political transition with full accountability and credible transitional justice, when we can ensure that the 6 million refugees and 4 million internally displaced Syrians have a home to return to and are protected from retaliation. Only then can the reconstruction start.

“We also must not forget the unspeakable horrors that have taken place during the last eight years of Syrian war. All those responsible for war crimes must be brought to justice. If the Syrian justice system is not capable of providing independent and effective prosecutions for war crimes and crimes against humanity, it is imperative we find an international solution.”

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