More EU peacebuilding efforts in Syria

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Only a political process led by the different Syrian groups and supported by the UN could end a war in Syria and the EU should take a more active role.

MEPs endorsed the EU strategy for Syria and advocated for a united and independent country in a resolution voted on Thursday. They are convinced that only a political process led by Syrian groups, under UN supervision and based on a new constitution, can lead to free and fair elections. This is the only way to end a war, which already cost 400.000 lives and left 13.5 mln. people in urgent need of food, water and shelter.

The EU, as the largest donor, needs to involve itself more in the Syrian peace process: facilitate the political transition, bring parties closer together, support the Syrian population and prepare for reconstruction, MEPs say. They also hint at some early confidence-building measures, such as unhindered humanitarian access throughout Syria, the end of all city sieges or the release of hostages.

MEPs condemn the atrocities, human rights and international law violations by all parties in the conflict, and in particular the forces of the Assad regime, supported by Russia and Iran, as well as by ISIS/Da’esh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. They urge that a Syria war crime tribunal be set up, pending a successful referral of these crimes to the International Criminal Court.

In March 2017, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini presented a joint communication on an EU strategy for Syria, which outlines how the EU can play a more visible and effective role in contributing to the lasting political solution in Syria.