Delegation of the European Union to Syria

EU foreign ministers back Mogherini's Syria Strategy

03/04/2017 - 21:02
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European Union foreign ministers today backed High Representative Federica Mogherini's plan for a Common Strategy on Syria, on the eve of the Brussels Conference "Supporting the future of Syria and the region".

As set out in the strategy, the situation in Syria "requires the international community to unite, to facilitate a political solution to the conflict. For the European Union, it is essential, first of all, to find a framework to ensure a genuine political transition, supporting the work of the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura," Mogherini said. 

The High Representative also underlined the need for a meaningful and inclusive transition in Syria, for the international community to follow the EU's lead on humanitarian aid, for measures to strengthen Syrian civil society, to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes and for preparations to be made for reconstruction, reconciliation and the stabilisation of the country once a political agreement is found to pave the way to the transition. 

The conference will also look into wider assistance for the region as a whole, in particular Jordan and Lebanon.

Ministers also adopted important conclusions on Yemen, underlining that it cannot become a forgotten crisis. 

"It is entering its third year. It is politically entering into a stalemate that we cannot afford to take place, first of all, because we have 17 million citizens there who are aid dependent, out of which 7 million are in the brink of famine. This can have very serious humanitarian consequences, but also security consequences that are very serious for the entire region, spreading to the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa," the High Representative said. 

She also updated ministers on the situation in Libya, in particular on the establishment of the Quartet on Libya where the European Union joined the Arab League, the African Union and the UN in trying to bring the Libyans together - East and West - within the Libyan Political Agreement. 

"It is a pure illusion, and a dangerous illusion, to think that one part can rule over the entire country against the other. What is needed is really for all Libyans to come together." 

Ministers also held a very productive exchange with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and the High Representative expressed the EU's sympathy with Russia following the attacks in St. Petersburg.